Feedback in distance education: A content analysis of Distance Education: An  International Journal, 1980-2013


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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to ascertain what has been written about feedback in Distance Education: An International Journal. Distance education has been dramatically developed in domestic and international education. It is a kind of education that concentrates on teaching methods and technologies, intending to deliver teaching to students who are not physically present in the traditional education setting such as the classroom. In distance education, students have fewer chances to get immediate responses from their teachers. Hence, in order to make sure that students have really learned and made progress, students and instructors should interact or communicate with each other frequently. The definition of feedback is that it is a reinforcer information given by different kinds of sources to help feedback receivers to make progress. Feedback serves as a useful learning tool with which to interact and communicate. In many cases, feedback may be the only learning communication between students and teacher in distance education courses. Content analysis methodology had been chosen for this research project in order to get a systematic and deep understanding of feedback in distance education. A coding form was utilized to support the objective observation. Predetermined themes were used to categorize the articles from the Distance Education: An International Journal. Six hundred and twenty peer reviewed articles were searched, and three hundred and fifty eight articles include the term feedback. The researcher read all these three hundred and fifty eight articles. One hundred and twenty four articles were about sources, sixty-two were about types of feedback, fifty-seven were about technology, and nineteen of them were about quality. There were also some other kinds of topics appeared in the articles of this journal. In order to make the analysis much more clear, the researcher categorized topics into four specific themes: feedback types, feedback providers, ways to deliver feedback and feedback quality. Results and discussion were provided.



feedback, distance education