Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Andrew Walker


Andrew Walker


Byron Burnham


Mimi Recker


Jamison Fargo


Sylvia Read


The purpose of this study was to investigate social science doctoral students' perceptions and attitudes toward different characteristics of written feedback and written feedback providers for their academic writing. Moreover, it aimed to provide an explanatory model to describe the relationships between these perceptions and attitudes, students' revision decisions, and other potentially relevant factors in their written feedback practices. The investigation was informed by two theoretical frameworks: principles of instructional design and conditions of learning, and situated learning and communities of practice. The study used a mixed methods approach in which qualitative data collection and analysis was followed by quantitative data collection and analysis. The main purpose of the qualitative phase was to develop a background to build a questionnaire to be used in the quantitative phase. The qualitative data were collected through interviews with 15 participants. Grounded theory data analysis methods were adapted in the qualitative analysis of the data. The quantitative data were collected through a questionnaire with 276 participants in two large mountain west public universities. Descriptive and multivariate correlational data analyses were employed for the analysis of the quantitative data. The results of this study provided descriptive information on doctoral students' preferences for different types of written feedback and their perceptions and attitudes toward different characteristics of written feedback providers. Moreover, the structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis results showed that that there are several factors in the feedback practices of the doctoral students that have significant influences on some other factors in these feedback practices. An eight-factor model was developed constituting the following factors: (a) attitudes toward critical/negative written feedback, (b) motivations for academic writing, (c) perceptions of opportunities to write academic papers with faculty members in the department, (d) attitudes toward asking and searching for written feedback for academic papers, (e) attitudes toward feedback providers' willingness and time to give feedback when asking for written feedback, (f) attitudes toward feedback providers' personality when asking for written feedback, (g) revision decisions considering the external issues while examining the written feedback, and (h) revision decisions considering the written feedback characteristics and the need for the revisions while examining the written feedback.