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Designing and implementing video-based peer feedback tasks to develop communication skills in a Hong Kong higher education institution: An analysis of sociocultural re-mediation through collaborative formative intervention

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Dave Gatrell
Publication date2024
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The use of video-based peer feedback to enhance communication skills is increasingly widespread in higher education, with a growing number of research papers attesting to its importance and impact on learning. Yet whilst existing works evaluate the effectiveness of this approach in terms of learning outcomes and student satisfaction, they do not take sufficient account of the sociocultural aspects that influence the design and implementation of video-based peer feedback activities, or the ways students engage in these activities using video.
In this thesis, I investigate how the introduction of a novel video annotation tool into a real setting re-mediates peer feedback practices, in order to highlight sociocultural considerations. To do so, I draw on data from a project in which I used a formative intervention research design to collaborate with instructors in three modules to design and implement tasks where students engage in video-annotated peer feedback on their recorded presentations. Using a theoretical framework based on Engeström’s notion of expansive learning and Scanlon and Issroff’s Activity Theory-derived criteria for evaluating technology in higher education, I analyse interview, survey, annotation and system data from each intervention. I present three reports of how peer feedback was re-mediated, followed by a cross-intervention analysis to illuminate points of commonality and difference.
My findings suggest that sociocultural factors were critical in shaping the design and implementation of video-based peer feedback tasks and the ways in which students used the tool to engage in them. Particularly important in each intervention were the extent and nature of instructor facilitation, cognitive scaffolding and social-affective support, and the grading policy. My core contributions are to emphasise the centrality of the instructor’s role in encouraging peer dialogue through structure and guidance, in-class and online; to uncover the relationship between forms of cognitive scaffolding and students’ use of the tool; and to signpost how the negative impact of affective factors on motivation might be mitigated.