‘I was really upset and it put me off’:

The emotional impact of assessment feedback on first-year undergraduate students.





Assessment, First year students, emotional reactions to assessment feedback, first year student experience, summative assessment and feedback, Assessment for Learning


Assessment feedback can have an emotional impact on students. This research contributes to the existing body of literature on students’ emotional reactions to assessment feedback through investigating the negative responses to summative feedback experienced by first-year students at two UK universities. The majority of the learners interviewed indicated that their initial first-year feedback had a negative emotional impact and demotivated them. For some students these negative emotions were very serious and led them to consider leaving university. Negative emotions were related both to the written feedback provided, the grade received, and the student’s expectations about both. Potential solutions to mitigate first-year students’ negative emotional reactions to summative assessment feedback are provided.

Author Biography

Andrew G D Holmes, The university of Hull

Dr Andrew G D Holmes is a lecturer at the University of Hull and trustee of the charity Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University. His research interests include higher education assessment, students’ approaches to learning and higher education pedagogy and practice.


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