Graduate Students’ Perceptions of Written Feedback at a Private University in Pakistan

Lubna Ghazal, Raisa Gul, Mehnaz Hanzala, Tansy Jessop, Ambreen Tharani


Excellence in academic performance at the graduate level requires good command of writing skills. Teachers’ written feedback can help students to develop their writing skills. However, several personal and contextual factors may influence feedback processes and its utilization by students. Therefore, understanding these factors is essential to improve the practice of written feedback.  This study aimed to appraise the quality of written feedback in the graduate programmes and to ascertain students’ perceptions about it at a private university in Pakistan. A purposive sample of 15 participants comprised the study. The data were collected through in-depth students’ interviews and the teachers’ written comments on students’ assignments. Data were coded and categorized to assess the pattern of similarities and dissimilarities. The analysis of comments on students’ assignments indicated that the amount of feedback varied greatly. Although some feedback focused on form and style, most comments focused on the content. Moreover, the tone of comments lacked a balance of praise, criticism and suggestions. The data from students’ interviews were categorized as: variations in experiences, functions of written feedback, effectiveness of feedback and utilization of feedback. With some exceptions students’ perceptions about the quality feedback corroborated with the teachers’ comment analysis. The study highlights several factors that impact the receptivity and utilization of feedback by students.  Therefore, teachers need to be aware and trained to enhance the quality of their feedback.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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