Giving Students Feedback Effectively
Feedback should be:
Geared toward improvement
Focused on the work, not on the person
What does the student most need to know in order to improve?
What is the student capable of understanding/doing at this time?
What will give the student the biggest “pay-off” in terms of improvement?
- Give more feedback earlier, less feedback later.
- Feedback given with grades is not necessarily attended to.
- Return work with feedback as promptly as possible after the assignment is completed. Delayed feedback means students will have moved on to other things and won’t make use of feedback.
- Don’t use feedback to justify the grade.
- You don’t have to comment on everything bad.
- Gear feedback to the goals of the assignment.
- Be sure to let the student know what they did well.
- Avoid cryptic comments like “wordy” or “logic?”—Or, if used, explain in an end-note.
- Keep track of feedback previously given to student, so you can comment on changes/improvement.
- Don’t “hijack” written work by doing extensive editing or rewriting.
- Don’t make assumptions about the student’s motivation or state of mind; keep comments focused on the work.
- Avoid “you-statements” (“You have a good understanding of the theory.”); make statements about the work
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