Feedback for students

Students talking in a lectureFeedback is essential for learning. How could one improve if there was no knowledge of what has been done well and what has not?

  • Feedback is most effective when students still have an opportunity to apply that feedback in their assessed work (i.e., feedback should feed forward).
  • Label all feedback as feedback (including student peer feedback).
  • An assessment can be broken into stages creating an opportunity to give feedback on multiple occasions without a significant increase in marking workload.
  • Consider posting generalised feedback on assessment online as text, a podcast, or a recorded presentation.
  • Convenient access to structured feedback can be provided online.
  • Ask for feedback from students on the lectures, tutorials, or assessment timetable and discuss it in class to model how feedback can be valued and effectively used.

Why

Students value constructive feedback which is immediate enough for them to relate to the work they have done. Large assignment tasks create a distance between feedback and work, particularly in large classes with high volumes of assignments being marked.

Students enjoy hearing feedback. Audio feedback for the class can be create a sense of the lecturer talking to the students. The students often feel they thus have a more personal access to the teaching team without creating extra workload.

Students may have a narrow view of what constitutes feedback. They will benefit from it more when they learn to label all feedback as such.

Examples

  • Online feedback (via ReView) can be set up for a large class so that each marker posts their assessment and comments and they can be compared before marks are released to the students to guarantee consistency of the marking process.
  • A larger assignment can be broken into segments and each marked using online feedback (ReView). In ReView a student has access to cumulative feedback as the work progresses and has an opportunity to monitor their progress. Including self-assessment increases the benefits of using ReView.
  • Discuss what constitutes feedback to students in class. Then outline how feedback will be given in the unit of study and how they can use each feedback opportunity to improve their performance.

Further resources