Avoiding Common Feedback Mistakes

Credit: iStock.com/alexsl
Credit: iStock.com/alexsl
Feedback has been proven to be one of the most important factors to student success (Hattie, 2009). Unfortunately, students are starved for feedback from their instructors (Purdue Global, 2013). Graduate programs focus on teaching their students how to publish, lecture, and grade but not how to provide feedback that improves learning. It was only after studying the gurus of feedback, such as Grant Wiggins (2012), that I learned how to give quality feedback, which led to a sharp improvement in my student reviews and student learning. As someone who has evaluated hundreds of faculty members’ feedback to students, I have learned that faculty can drastically improve student understanding by avoiding a few common feedback errors.

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2 Responses

  1. I found this article very useful in relation to providing useful guidelines to new faculty who have to do this via online forums. It provides them with a systematic approach to feedback. It’s also a great reminder for seasoned faculty who have to use these same forums now, and would have been doing feedback via face to face means.

  2. In keeping with the author’s point, after I make comments on students’ work I go back & review it to make sure that I lead with positive statements (what was done well) & that I have not focused too much on simply being critical. In reviewing my comments, I often find that I need to edit out critical comments that were not about substance but instead about style. If I discover that i have not said anything positive, I keep looking through the student’s work until I find something to comment on positively!

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