Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of an Affective, Formative, and Data-Driven Feedback Intervention in Response to Mixed-Reality Simulations

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Mendelson, Eric J.
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Educators and researchers have long contemplated the most effective ways to provide feedback to students, to build sustainable feedback practices, and to establish feedback literacy. While a considerable amount of research, theory, and practical approaches exist to support the effect of formative feedback practices, less research exists on the impact of affective elements related to feedback. This study set out to explore pre-service teachers’ perceptions of a feedback intervention that included affective, formative, and data-driven aspects. A mixed-reality simulation environment was selected as the context for the study, and eight pre-service teachers performing in the simulation were selected as participants. This qualitative multicase study included three rounds of simulations, feedback interventions, and interview questioning. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis framework. Findings showed that the application of confirmation, empathy, and reciprocity in the feedback intervention prompted the development of helping relationships that promoted personal growth. The Humanistic work of Rogers became a useful framework for these emergent findings. In addition, findings included participants’ preferences for formative feedback over data-feedback, particularly formative feedback that introduced engaging language, purposeful organization, and details and examples. Lastly, findings revealed participants’ perceived personal growth in feedback literacy, especially in regards to managing emotions and committing to the feedback process.
I would like to thank Dr. Jody Piro for guiding me through the dissertation process and helping me discover the power and importance of care in education. Dr. Piro’s guidance was invaluable. I am so appreciative of every second that Jody provided me to offer inspiration, support, and guidance. Through the coursework and dissertation process, Jody has become more than a professor; she has been the star that keeps me in orbit around the power of education and instructional leadership. I would also like to thank Dr. Marcia Delcourt for her steadfast support and leadership throughout this process. Dr. Delcourt has held me to a high standard and has inspired me to do my best work. In addition, a significant and heartfelt thank you goes to Catherine O’Callaghan, Ph.D. and Kevin Smith, Ph.D. for all of the time and attention you have given my work. Dr. O’Callaghan and Dr. Smith have both served a vital role in not only the completion of this dissertation, but in my continuing career as a leader in education. As well, a sincere thank you goes to Dr. Kristina Harvey who agreed to serve as a reader for my dissertation, and, moreover, is a dear friend and colleague. I would also like to thank the whole Western Connecticut State University Instructional Leadership cohort, Cohort 8. Each person in this cohort has become a valued friend, and I would not have had such a rewarding experience without your amazing personalities, profound takes on education theory and practice, and continued support. Lastly, I would like to thank my wife, Courtney Lauria, and my son, Elliot Mendelson, for being extremely patient as I worked my way through a challenging program and dissertation process. Courtney and Elliot both inspire me every day to be the best version of myself.