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In this meta-analysis, we investigated the effects of methods for providing item-based feedback in a computer-based environment on students’ learning outcomes. From 40 studies, 70 effect sizes were computed, which ranged from −0.78 to 2.29. A mixed model was used for the data analysis. The results show that elaborated feedback (EF; e.g., providing an explanation) produced larger effect sizes (0.49) than feedback regarding the correctness of the answer (KR; 0.05) or providing the correct answer (KCR; 0.32). EF was particularly more effective than KR and KCR for higher order learning outcomes. Effect sizes were positively affected by EF feedback, and larger effect sizes were found for mathematics compared with social sciences, science, and languages. Effect sizes were negatively affected by delayed feedback timing and by primary and high school. Although the results suggested that immediate feedback was more effective for lower order learning than delayed feedback and vice versa, no significant interaction was found.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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