Crews, Tena B. and Kelly Wilkinson. “Students’ Perceived Preference for Visual and Auditory Assessment with E-Handwritten Feedback.” Business Communication Quarterly 73.4 (December 2010): 399-412.
The literature review says that writing skills have decreased, that a single course cannot remediate student writing skills, and that business communication is another course to emphasize writing. It charges that as submission modes change, so, too, should modes of assessment. It presents four goals: “(a) learners are actively involved and receive feedback; (b) learners become increasingly sophisticated learners and knowers; (c) professors coach and facilitate, intertwining teaching and assessing; and (d) learning is interpersonal, and all learners—students and professors—are respected and valued (Huba & Freed, 2000)” (401). Comments on papers are often ineffective [so why do we write them?] (402). They used a web-based questionnaire with assessment examples to gather data. Most students were seniors, traditional ages; a little more than half were male (405). Handwritten were ranked as the least helpful. Audio and visual with e-writing were ranked as most helpful. The participants also ranked benefits for each assessment type and answered which types were used by other professors.
This is an interesting quantitative study. It appears to have been carried out well. I am unsure that students saying they found something helpful means it is helpful, but it will more likely be perceived as helpful by the students… which would lead to better evaluations for the teacher, assuming the feedback given was decent/good.
I have sometimes written entire letters for feedback. I have even recorded responses. These take much more time than handwritten. I would want to know that a) they were being listened to and b) being used.