If feedback is provided in a way that can develop students’ self-regulatory skills, it could enhance
learning and, consequently, lead to improved performance. To improve teaching and learning in higher
education (HE), this study sought to determine whether the feedback to first-year students affords them
an opportunity to learn from it. A theoretical framework on constructive feedback, self-regulated learning
and the expectations of students was synthesised from literature which formed the basis of the research.
This was followed by empirical research using a questionnaire to capture students’ perspectives regarding
feedback. Students experienced the feedback as not contributing towards improving their performance
but are convinced that, if they receive feedback that is focused on the task level, it can improve their
performance. Suggestions are provided that emphasise the need to use feedback at both task and process
level as a learning tool.