Masterclass: David Carless

Learner feedback seeking: prospects and challenges

When learners pro-actively seek feedback on work-in-progress, they are then primed to act on received feedback inputs. This is significant because without student action, feedback processes are lifeless. Students, however, are often reluctant to elicit feedback from their teachers for a host of reasons: fear of negative judgements, potential loss of face, procrastination and inertia. Relational factors play an important role: how might we create psychologically safe environments comprising trust, support and positive relationships encouraging feedback seeking from fellow learners as well as teachers? This workshop outlines rationales, challenges and strategies for learner feedback seeking drawing particularly on my own recent and ongoing research in this area.


David Carless works as a Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong and is also Honorary Professor at CRADLE, Deakin University. He was the winner of a University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016. His current research focuses on teacher and student feedback literacy to enhance the impact of feedback processes, the role of feedback seeking, and how and why teachers change their feedback practices. Designing effective feedback processes in higher education: A learning-focused approach, by Winstone and Carless, was published by Routledge in 2019. He also tweets about feedback research and practice @CarlessDavid. The latest details of his work are on his website:

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