Feedback sense-making: Aligning feedback intent and learner impact


There is a considerable amount of research literature on the topic of assessment feedback in higher education. Much of this literature focuses on one of three topics: (a) what teachers should do when providing feedback comments to students; (b) the capacity and role of students when engaging with feedback; and (c) how students react to or engage with feedback.

However, limited research has looked at whether the academic intent of feedback comments aligns with how students make sense of the comments. By better understanding the alignment between feedback intent and sense-making, this research should lead to improved feedback practices for educators, and greater understanding for students.


The aim of this project is to explore whether there is alignment between the academic intent of feedback comments and the sensemaking of students who receive those comments. A further aim is to determine the impact of non-alignment between intent and sensemaking on students' future performance.


  • Professor Michael Henderson, Monash University
  • Professor Gregor Kennedy, The University of Melbourne
  • Professor Kris Ryan, Monash University
  • Dr Tracii Ryan, The University of Melbourne


The results of this project will be communicated through conference presentations and publications.

More information

Dr Tracii Ryan, Melbourne CSHE, The University of Melbourne