Good feedback creates dialogue between the instructor and student. In order to foster this dialogue, it’s important to give students feedback both early and frequently throughout the semester. Timely feedback allows students to act on the information to improve their learning while still in your course. This requires providing students with frequent opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities in order to give you an outlet to provide suggestions for improvement.
In addition to occurring in a timely manner, the effectiveness of your feedback is influenced by both the quality of the task given to students and the quality of your feedback itself. Research suggests instructors have a more positive view of the feedback they are providing than the students who are receiving the feedback. Students often have difficulty in making improvements from instructor feedback on assignments because they find the feedback difficult to understand or too general for them to identify where to make specific improvements. To be most effective, feedback should address:
What students did well,
- What students need to improve on, and
- How to make the improvement.
This combination of affirming and corrective feedback is necessary to the learning process. Identifying what a student knows and does not know allows them to focus subsequent learning efforts. Click on the infographic to see several specific tips in providing students with feedback.
Prompt feedback is the 4th of 7 principles for effective undergraduate teaching we have reviewed. Subscribe to the blog to be sure you don’t miss the remaining 3 principles, as well as other great topics on the CITL Blog this year.
7 Principles of Good Teaching Blog Series – by Shannon Sipes