Useless and Useful Feedback – students’ perspectives
So, what do students really think about the feedback they get?
Dr. Tendai Dube attended the Association for Learning Technologists (ALT)’s Online Winter Conference 2019 (11 – 12 December) and was intrigued and thought to share these perspectives on feedback. One of the presenters asked participants to give examples of useless feedback they had ever received, and then examples of feedback they found useful. The following raw comments given by some participants echo what some of our students here at Loughborough also said about their experiences and hence they are worth checking out. [At least 4 students volunteered to share their feedback experiences during a Wolfson School’s staff workshop on Assessment and Feedback in October 2019]. It is hoped that this will help guide academic staff on the nature of feedback they give their students.
|Useless feedback||Useful feedback|
|General comments which don’t |
give any personal feedback/direction
|Computer Science teacher would record himself and give audio feedback on group projects. Very informative and personal to us|
|I always found it frustrating to get feedback on something you couldn’t then change or improve on. I used to get written feedback on essays at uni which then wasn’t useful for the next essay at all.||Balanced, Observed, Objective, Specific & Timely|
|It came at the end of the course. Too late to be of use to me.||Students negotiating marking criteria using previous examples of assessments – this can lead to peer and self-assessment|
|Feedback my daughter got in Art: “you have to push this more” – no explanation what that means||Challenging/stretch comments – that help change your thinking rather than just knowledge-based|
|Written feedback not easy to understand/unclear||Timely with clear guidance on what the marker is looking for|
|Not relevant||When I did my teaching qualification the feedback I received made me feel like the assessor had really read my work and acknowledge the amount of effort|
|When it is only rubrics which are copy-pasted||specific, personalised, achievable|
|‘could do better’ but no explanation how…||Highlighting where I have done well and therefore areas where I could improve next time. It’s useful to see examples and steps that are personalised to take forward.|