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Rowe, Anna

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  • Paper Title: Emotions and cognitive appraisals associated with feedback at university
  • Department Affiliation: Marketing and Management
  • Supervisors’ Names:
    • Associate Professor Leigh Wood
    • Professor Julie Fitness


To determine key emotions involved in formative feedback situations and their underlying cognitive appraisals. 


Students value feedback for emotional reasons as well as a direct aid to the learning process (Rowe, 2011). Empirical studies explicitly investigating discrete emotions in feedback are lacking particularly in higher education. 

Key literature / theoretical perspective:

Educational psychologists are now highlighting the importance of emotional aspects of learning (Pekrun & Stephens, 2010).


A prototype and cognitive appraisal approach is used to analyse interview data with students and lecturers from an Australian university, who were asked a series of questions about the role and functionality of emotions within learning and teaching. 


Findings of a content and thematic analysis will be discussed in relation to five dimensions of feedback; timing, content, mode, the source and recipient.

Practical and Social implications: 

This research will contribute to educational literature focused on developing ways to assist students and lecturers capitalise on all their emotions, thus providing an alternative to the current focus on managing cognitive aspects of learning and/or negative emotions such as exam stress.


cognitive appraisals, emotions, feedback, higher education

Pekrun, R., & Stephens, S. J. (2010). Achievement emotions in higher education. In J. C. Smart (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. 25, pp. 257-306). New York: Springer.

Rowe, A. (2011). The personal dimension in teaching: Why students value feedback. International Journal of Educational Management, 25(4).