Personalization vs. Standardization: Digitalizing Feedback on Written Assignments in Freshman English Courses in Hong Kong

Simon Wang*, Cissy Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Though e-learning has been in practice for decades in Hong Kong tertiary institutions, from the very early CALL (computer-aided language learning), thanks to the widespread use of the computers, to now much more accessible and ever growing online learning, empowered by the Internet, the vast majority of university courses are still delivered face-to-face. Due to political unrest in late 2019 and coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, university teachers in Hong Kong had to switch to online teaching and provide digital feedback on students’ written assignments. This book chapter explores the various practices of English language teachers giving feedback and investigates how to develop an eLearning platform to engage students more effectively in the context of two Freshman English courses in a publicly-funded university in Hong Kong. It reports the results of a survey of about 100 students taking the courses in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 focusing on their experience of receiving teachers’ feedback on their written assignments. The survey results inform the subsequent in-depth interviews with 6 students and 3 teachers with an aim to better understand their experience of receiving or giving feedback. Considering the variation of practices of giving feedback among teachers observed and a set of issues frequently raised by students, the chapter then critically reviews the two online feedback platforms, TurnItIn Feedback Studio and Google Classroom, and introduce a new online platform for giving feedback developed by the authors while exploring how to standardize the workflow of giving feedback while allowing room for personalization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Use of Technology in English Medium Education
EditorsJack K. H. Pun, Samantha Curle, Dogan Yuksel
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030996222
ISBN (Print)9783030996215 , 9783030996246
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameEnglish Language Education
ISSN (Print)2213-6967
ISSN (Electronic)2213-6975

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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