Department of Management

Students want feedback and educators need dialogue: The interaction paradox in Danish Management Education

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We discuss what we call “the interaction paradox” in Danish management education. On the one hand, the fact that students want more feedback and educators want to foster dialogue with their students should bode well for interaction in educational settings. On the other hand, both groups are left wanting: a survey found that only a third of students at Business and Social Science (BSS), Aarhus University (AU), think they get sufficient feedback on their work , while educators bemoan the impossibility of activating and engaging students in the substantive, theoretical and methodological discussions in class-room settings that are considered central for effective learning.
In other words, we have a situation where students want to talk to their teachers and teachers also want to engage in dialogue, but they seem to get nowhere. Based on qualitative and quantitative data from both students and educators at the Department of Business Administration (BADM) at BSS we explore the reasons for this paradox and look for possible solutions.
Data sources include Study Environment Surveys at AU; a survey of educators at BADM with open-ended questions on dialogue; data from Study Panels for all MSc specialisations at BADM; and input from a workshop on student participation.
Based on our analysis and interpretation of the data, we develop a conceptual model in which feedback is considered fundamental for effective learning. The model explains how dialogical feedback can clarify levels of understanding and performance levels for both students and educators, and also be used as a medium to provide suggestions for improving learning.
The conceptual model can be used to solve the interaction paradox. It has implications for both individual educators and on an institutional level for creating the conditions for the effective feedback and dialogue between students and educators that both parties crave.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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