Offering commentary on student work is an important part of teaching as students can learn a lot from a varied, explicit, and aligned feedback process.

Offer Varied Formats Offer multiple opportunities for students to receive feedback over the course and multiple formats for the feedback itself, so that it can be more comprehensively understood and incorporated to improve future work.


Some options include:

  • Classwide: Highlighting common issues identified in completed tests and assignments;
  • Written: Identifying individual strengths and opportunities for improvement;
  • Oral: Sharing feedback during office hours, tutorials, or privately before/after class;
  • Rubrics: Assessing a student‚Äôs performance against learning outcomes and expectations; and
  • Reviews: Encouraging students to visit during office hours to review their evaluated tests or exams (Teaching @UNSW, 2017).
Be Explicit
  • When offering feedback, work to be explicit, plain, and clear. Contextualize and fully explain a comment rather than using short forms that assume students understand particular academic conventions for communication.
  • If you do intend to use a shorthand system or abbreviations, make sure to teach students how to decipher these comments ahead of time.
Emphasize Alignment with Learning Goals
  • Support students in seeing the extent to which their work demonstrates mastery of course content by prioritizing feedback that is most aligned with and relevant to the intended learning outcomes measured by the assessment.
  • Ensure feedback arrives in time and in a format that students can use to strengthen their alignment with and achievement of expectations and learning goals in subsequent work. Feedback that arrives too late to be incorporated does not support student learning in your course (Wiggins, 2012).

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