“As good as your word”: Face-threat mitigation and the use of instructor nonverbal cues on students’ perceptions of digital feedback

Catie Clark-Gordon, Nicholas Bowman, Evan Watts, Jaime D. Banks, Jennifer Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research has established that students often consider the delivery of instructor feedback to be a face-threatening event. To minimize the potential negative effects of feedback, verbal and nonverbal face-threat mitigation (FTM) strategies are utilized by instructors. Advances in digital feedback systems, like online documents and learning management platforms, allow instructors to add nonverbal elements, such as profile pictures or emojis, to this feedback. Two mixed-method studies were employed to investigate the role of these nonverbal cues in digital feedback. Study 1 (N = 236) employed a 2 by 2 experiment (presence or absence of FTM tactics by presence or absence of instructor picture), showing that FTM strategies have substantial positive impact on feedback and instructor perceptions, and that the inclusion of instructor pictures with this feedback has no effect. Study 2 (N = 218) utilized a 2 by 2 experimental design (presence or absence of FTM tactics by presence or absence of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-225
JournalDefault journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2018

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