From informal to formal: A case study about the impact of distant learning on formative feedback in Danish schools

Vickie Ravn Bechsgaard*, Emanuela Marchetti, Thomas Enemark Lundtofte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Even though Denmark is a highly digitized country, the Covid-19
pandemic has pushed schools to adopt extreme forms of distant
learning, as everything should be conducted online through digital
platforms. Our study aims at analysing the impact of distant learning
practice on feedback practice, from the perspective of teachers and
pupils. More specifically we focus on pupils in Danish mid-school, who
are subject to a final exam to qualify for access to high school. We have
conducted a netnographic inquiry, combining virtual observations and
interviews with teachers and pupils. Our results show that the new
distant learning practice prevented teachers to engage in non-formal
assessment and feedback practice, such as spontaneous walks across
the classrooms and dialogue with pupils on their difficulties, hence
making it hard to keep an overview on their pupils’ progress. To
compensate for the lack of non-formal feedback practices, distant
learning has turned feedback practices into formal evaluations, leading
the pupils to feel under pressure and less engaged in their learning. Our
study provides an original perspective regarding specific aspects, such as
feedback practices, which require forms of spontaneous dialogue
between teachers and pupils and are central for learning, hence
providing meaningful insights for the implementation of distant learning
in mid school and the importance of a close dialogue between pupils and
Original languageEnglish
JournalE-Learning and Digital Media
Number of pages33
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2. Apr 2024


  • Covid-19
  • distant learning
  • digital platform
  • assessment
  • feedback practice


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