Maximising the Impact of Performance Feedback: A Comparison of Synchronous and Asynchronous Methods in Initial Teacher Education

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationAcademic


Performance feedback is essential in support of preservice teachers' learning as it helps them understand their strengths and weaknesses and make improvements. However, the mere provision of performance feedback does not guarantee uptake. In teacher education, feedback is mostly provided after a lesson, whereas feedback provided within 3 seconds of an observed behaviour appears more effective for acquiring and maintaining new teaching behaviours (Schaefer & Ottley, 2018). The current research project therefore explores the affordances of synchronous performance feedback.

Synchronous performance feedback has succesfully been used in fields such as medicine, psychology, customer service and sports (Randolph & Brady, 2018). Given within the context, the recipient can engage directly with the feedback or ignore it. In the former case, the recipient can experience the effect of a feedback-induced action immediately, rendering it more likely to become part of their self-regulation (Taylor, Oostdam and Fukkink, 2022). In the latter case, the recipient could be demonstrating an ability to self-regulate by making a conscious decision to disagree with or not act on the feedback. Research (Scheeler, McKinnon and Stout, 2011) has shown that synchronous performance feedback can alleviate issues of time and logistics caused by the massification of higher education.

The multiple competing demands on attention mean cognitive load is high for preservice and novice teachers (Feldon, 2007). Short standardised feedback messages can help reduce the possibility of cognitive overload (Coninx, Kreijns and Jochems, 2013) while technology can help with the provision of synchronous feedback.

A small-scale study using a standardised taxonomy and widely available inexpensive technology showed promising results with preservice teachers. Our preliminary findings highlight preservice teachers’ appreciation of technology-mediated performance feedback. They were able to decide whether or how to respond to feedback and to absorb the feedback as part of their self-regulation, whilst reporting an increase in teacher self-efficacy with this method of performance feedback. Teacher educators indicated a desire to implement this method of feedback in initial teacher education as they saw it as a means to provide more frequent and focussed feedback and believed they saw faster results with preservice teacher learning than with purely asynchronous performance feedback.

This study will be extended to compare synchronous and asynchronous performance feedback experiences. Our presentation will showcase our design for synchronous performance feedback and the results of both studies, with a reflection on implications for practice in initial teacher education and possibilities for the wider field of higher education.
Period22 Jun 202323 Jun 2023
Event titleAssessment in Higher Education
Event typeConference
LocationManchester, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational