Effective feedback is crucial for students’ progress and plays an indispensable role in their learning process. What exactly should you pay attention to in order to give the most effective and constructive feedback possible? Read the tips here!
- Focus on the goal: Feedback is meant to steer learners towards specific goals. What exactly is that goal? Feedback should show students how many more steps need to be taken to reach that goal.
- Make feedback transparent and tangible: Indicate concrete results that are related to the intended goal.
- Provide action-oriented information: Good feedback contains action-oriented information. Just ‘well done’ or ‘try to do better next time’ is not enough. Make it clear what exactly is good about it or not so that a student knows what exactly to adjust. An example is: ‘This particular argument lacks foundation, in chapter two you will find information that can help with this.’
- Focus feedback on the work and the process, not on personal traits. Avoid statements like “You didn’t approach that cleverly”. Someone may then think you think the person is stupid. Instead, say, ‘You didn’t follow this particular outline.’
- Start with positive feedback: Positive feedback increases student engagement. Then you can ask some questions and offer suggestions for improvements.
- Give feedback as soon as possible: In any case, try to give the feedback before the student or pupil starts the follow-up assignment so that they can apply the feedback here.
- Avoid feedback overload: Too much feedback can be overwhelming. Focus on the essential points to avoid losing the most important messages.
- Focus feedback on pre-specified development points: Encourage students or learners to indicate their development points. For example, when submitting their assignment, they can indicate in the text what they feel uncertain about and would like to receive feedback on. Give targeted feedback on these specific areas to support their learning.
- Encourage interaction: Ask students to respond to the feedback received. This promotes understanding and engagement, and provides an opportunity to clarify any questions.
- Make it an ongoing process: The more feedback a student receives over a period of time, the more opportunities there are to learn and improve. Think of feedback as an ongoing dialogue to encourage progress.
Hopefully, these tips will help you give more effective and constructive feedback. However, if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of implementing these tips in all your assignments, we have two handy solutions for you. In the Revisely comment database, you can save all your feedback and add it to future assignments in just one click. Another option is to outsource your correction work to professional proofreaders through TheyCorrect! For more information, take a look at revise.ly or theycorrect.com.