An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Nursing Student Perceptions of Summative Assessment Feedback Using LEGO® Serious Play®

Benjamin Ajibade*, Catherine Hayes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – The aim of the study was to explore perceptions of the impact of assessment feedback by international undergraduate nursing students. Research to date indicates that summative assessment feedback may impact significantly on student achievement but if it is undertaken sub optimally or does not provide students with the opportunity to engage with the process and reflexively respond, it can also be exceptionally damaging to the learning experience.
Methodology: A scoping exercise of overall student feedback experience was initially collated via the adoption of an Interpretive Phenomenological Approach (IPA). Participants were recruited via purposive sampling and the LEGO® Serious Play® method was used to collect data. Analysis with Quirkos software was used to examine the salience as well as commonality of findings as an integral part of a recognised five-step thematic analytical approach.
Findings: Feedback was perceived, by students, as significantly impacting factor in relation to their overall progression, attainment, and retention rates. Themes generated from the findings evidenced student perceptions that summative feedback is a positive driver and source of motivation for academic success and progression. It was perceived that levels of attainment were related to the clarity, quality and individualised nature of feedback that students received and that this was perceived to be evident in their final grades. These were accompanied by perceptions that feedback clarity also determined the potential of breaking down perceived student barriers to learning, their perceived capacity for effective assignment planning and preparation and the likelihood of them having any positive collective or individual interpersonal relationships with their tutors. Summarised, students perceived that feedback ought to lead to student empowerment in managing their studies and as such it ought to be clear, straightforward, and non-ambiguous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Early online date7 Sep 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2023

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