Student consumption and recall of feedback are necessary preconditions of successful formative assessment. Drawing on Sadler’s (1998) definition of formative assessment as that which is intended to accelerate learning and improve performance through the providing of feedback, we examine how the mechanism of transmission may impact student retention of feedback content. We proceed from the premise that such retention is necessary for feedback to function as a component of formative assessment. Although researchers have written extensively on best practices in feedback content (e.g., Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006) and student and instructor attitudes toward electronic feedback versus handwritten feedback (e.g., Thomson, 2008), comparatively little research addresses whether the form of feedback influences student consumption and retention. Our research found that whereas students who preferred or received handwritten feedback recall more feedback (quantity), those who actually received electronic feedback recall comments more accurately (quality). We encourage instructors to working with either format to adhere to accepted standards for good feedback practice.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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