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The effect of affective corrective feedback variation in Web-based instruction on community college student satisfaction and retention DISSERTATION

, University of San Francisco, United States

University of San Francisco . Awarded


Students in web-based learning environments receive feedback about their performance principally through a system of text-based messages that are sent through some form of electronic communication. These feedback messages lack the non-verbal visual cues that serve to establish context, present affective information, and provide motivational support to students in the learning environment. Student motivation is an important factor influencing student satisfaction with web-based learning environments; therefore, feedback messages that contain affective information may increase student satisfaction with web-based instruction.

The purpose of the research was to examine the influences of three forms of affective feedback (no affective feedback, supportive language, and supportive language with emoticons) on student satisfaction and retention in community college web-based courses that used text-based feedback. A quasi-experimental in situ methodology was used with a sample of 109 students enrolled in actual web-based instruction. Pre- and post-treatment surveys were used to collect the data from students via the Internet.

The differences between means for the variations in affective feedback on student satisfaction and student retention did not reach statistical significance. The results of stepwise multiple regression analyses to examine the interrelationships among eight predictor variables (type of affective feedback, computer and Internet self-efficacy, external feedback propensity, internal feedback propensity, internal feedback ability, gender, native English language, and ethnicity) and the variables student satisfaction and retention, revealed significant predictors (external feedback propensity, type of affective feedback, internal feedback ability, gender) for student satisfaction. The results of ancillary analyses to examine sub-group differences suggested that white and male students, and students with high external feedback propensity and high computer and Internet self-efficacy, were more influenced by supportive language affective feedback than the other two feedback treatments. Results also suggested that students who had previous successful experience with web-based instruction were more positively affected by the inclusion of affective feedback than students who had no prior experience.

The implications of this research suggest that instructors provide affective feedback in the form of supportive language to all students because, while it does not positively influence all students, it may influence particular subgroups and does not appear to negatively impact the others.


Andreatta, P.B. The effect of affective corrective feedback variation in Web-based instruction on community college student satisfaction and retention. Ph.D. thesis, University of San Francisco. Retrieved March 23, 2018 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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