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How can I best use feedback to enhance student learning?

Recent educational research (e.g. Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Shute, 2008; Naylor et al., 2014) has shown that feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement. Effective feedback is an integral part of assessment, helps students identify what they are doing well and provides them with insights into how to improve in areas where they are in need of development. When delivered in an encouraging and timely manner, it can motivate students to succeed and engage with the topic content (Naylor et al., 2014).

My own positive and negative experiences with feedback during my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in education are the primary motivation for this inquiry. Despite what we were taught about the importance of feedback as budding educators, the feedback I received from a prominent professor on the conclusion of my undergraduate studies for work that took a whole year to complete was merely well done. I was gravely disappointed. The professor awarded me 98% for my work but could not answer my question as to what I did well and what I could improve. On many other occasions, I recall feelings of delight and gratitude to teachers that took the time to provide me with effective feedback it helped prepare me for future assessment tasks by offering suggestions for improvement; it was explicit, detailed and constructive, treating my learning as a developmental continuum rather than solely pinpointing deficit issues, or giving me a token pat on the back. It justified the mark I received in assessment tasks and was hugely empowering and motivating; it made me want to better myself.

These experiences have helped me understand the importance of feedback and the impacts it can have on learners. Furthermore, I have identified assessment as a weakness prior to my employment as a teacher; I was not in a position to make sustained records of student progress and hence evaluate the more long-term effects that providing effective feedback would have on students. To this end, I made a promise to myself that I would take the time to give my students the feedback they deserve and need in order to grow and reach their potential. This inquiry outlines and evaluates my intentions and efforts in providing my students with effective and valuable feedback alongside evidence that addresses the VIT Proficient Teacher Standards.

Access the full document HERE to read more



Hattie, J. Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, Vol. 77, Issue 1, pp. 81-112.

Naylor, R. Baik, C. Asmar, C. and Watty, K (2014). Good feedback practices: Prompts and guidelines for reviewing and enhancing feedback for students, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Shute, V. J. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of Educational Research, Vol. 78, Issue 1, pp. 153-189.

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