Feedback Strategies to Improve Learning


Feedback should be more than marking a student’s paper with corrections. The proper feedback can provide students with valuable lessons about their methods for internalizing important information. It can also give teachers an added way of influencing the growth of their students.

Keep Feedback Close to Assignments

Offering feedback on time helps students adopt your advice when it’s still fresh. Make sure your recommendations and corrections are given shortly after assignments or tests have been turned in. This will depend on the pace at which you correct papers but a concerted effort to keep assignments and feedback close together will drastically improve effectiveness.

Tailor Feedback to Individual Student Needs

It’s tempting for you to have a predetermined list of feedback options you give depending on the issue you are correcting. However, the more you tailor your feedback to individual students’ needs, the more they will get out of your communication.

Return Corrected Assignments Before Class Begins

Most teachers hand out corrected assignments at the end of class. Students are usually rushing to move on to their next class or get home at the end of the day. This means that they often won’t be looking at your feedback until they’re on the bus or at home.

Please take a few minutes to hand them their corrected tests or assignments at the beginning of class. Allow for a few minutes of questions to discuss issues your students may have. Furthermore, make yourself available for additional questions after class or via email and social media.

Make Feedback Specific to a Skill

Students can get overwhelmed when a paper or a test has several corrections. Attacking all skills or knowledge gaps that need to be addressed can put unnecessary stress on your pupils. Instead, find the main skill that will help them better understand the concept in question.

You can work on helping your students with other gaps they have at a later time. Try to break down your feedback in a digestible way and offer maximum growth.

Feedback Should Always Aim to Educate

Think of your feedback as helping your students magnify what they are doing right rather than pinpointing their mistakes. While your goal is to have them overcome faulty ways of dealing with the exercise at hand, complimenting your students will go a long way.

Promote Feedback Between Students

Feedback shouldn’t be a one-way street or limited to teachers directing corrections toward students. Instead, allow ways your students can provide one another with constructive feedback. This will help them build social skills that will be useful in the future.

Apply Feedback Strategies Today

The sooner you apply these feedback strategies into your arsenal of teaching tools. The more your students will get out of your lessons. Adobe Education Exchange has excellent ideas for a 4th grade science project that you can apply your feedback skills to. Then, have your students complete the project and try to use at least two of the tips from above.

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About the Author: John Watson

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