Feedback: General Principles and Resources

TaLIC’s research shows that students want assessment that is relevant and useful, and feedback that is:

  • fair and consistent​;
  • constructive and respectful (points out the good as well as what needs work in a respectful manner​);
  • timely (feeds forward to future work);
  • detailed and personalised (e.g., there is evidence that the marker is responding directly to their work)​.
Image 1. Students may say: Five weeks, maybe, for feedback. usually longer, but not communicated. There is no indication that the department cares about our feedback. I would have like the opportunity to explore other modes of learning rather than just essay writing.
Students often complain that the feedback they receive is not timely, not personalised and reflects a lack of diversity in the assessment methods.

These principles might help you improve feedback quality and its relevance to students:

Feedback is for learning: Students must benefit from feedback and it must feed forward into their next piece of work, developing their knowledge and understanding along the way.

Feedback is consistent: It is important that there is consistency in the department about how feedback is presented.

Feedback is timely: It is imperative that students have time to digest and reflect on feedback before the next piece of work is set.

Feedback is pertinent: Any feedback you present to students must directly tie into and reference the assessment and learning objectives that have been presented and examined at the start of the year. How would you design these in collaboration with students?

Feedback is supported: Both staff and students should be supported in how feedback is delivered and used.

Feedback is discussed: Feedback must be consistently discussed with students, both how it will be delivered and how it should be received and used.

Image 2. Feedback is for learning, feedback is clear and consistent, feedback is timely, feedback is pertinent, feedback is supported, feedback is discussed.

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