Using differentiated feedback to improve performance in introductory statistics

Qijie Cai, Bodong Chen, Han Wu, Glenn Trussell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this study, we applied the regulatory focus theory to design a feedback intervention to promote learning in an introductory statistics course at a Midwestern public university in the USA. In total, 67 students were randomly assigned to receive feedback that either fitted or not fitted their regulatory focus. Through the analysis of covariance, we found that students in the fit condition had better performance than the non-fit condition, and there was a significant interaction between the individual’s regulatory focus and the type of feedback received. Further analysis showed that this interaction was significant only for the middle-performing students, but not for the lower or higher achievers. Findings from this study have implications for feedback design in higher education classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-445
Number of pages12
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019


  • Differentiated feedback
  • introductory statistics
  • learning performance
  • regulatory fit
  • regulatory focus


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