This qualitatively analyzed protocol-analysis study investigated the cognitive processes English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students used while applying Dynamic Written Corrective Feedback (Evans et al., 2010) throughout a 16-week semester. The goal was to extend research literature on DWCF by investigating participant's cognitive processes to deepen understanding of DWCF and compare patterns of processing feedback between color and traditional editing codes. Eleven international university students participated in four think-aloud sessions with DWCF at three-week intervals. Five participants received typical editing codes feedback. Six others received color codes feedback. In each session, participants wrote independently following a prompt for 10 minutes. Immediate coded feedback was provided, and the participants thought aloud as they applied the feedback to writing corrections and feedback charting. If needed, additional feedback and revision with think-aloud occurred. Brief retrospective questions followed. The resulting verbal reports were transcribed and screencapture observations were added. Forty transcribed sessions were analyzed using Storch and Wigglesworth's (2010) language-related episodes (LREs) as an initial coding scheme. Additional codes emerged and were documented during the study. All LREs with their associated engagement and editing resolutions were tallied and charted to identify patterns which were then described with data excerpts. Overall findings illustrated differences regarding participant processing between the two types of feedback. Generally, the color-coded feedback group engaged in more extensive engagement without necessarily resulting in more expected editing resolutions to feedback. Data patterns within LREs show more consistent upward trends of resolutions over the semester with editing codes. This finding combined with patterns of task confirmation and feedback clarification suggested that editing codes feedback was more meaningful and manageable. The color codes possibly added some unnecessary cognitive load towards learner processing. Patterns for reading and self-confirmation did not have clear differences between feedback groups. All participants attended to the feedback provided. Findings have implications for future research and practitioners interested in DWCF.

Graduation Date





Mihai, Florin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Education; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages




CFE0009074; DP0026407





Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)