Feedback guidelines for students
There are two types of feedback: Summative and Formative. Summative feedback tells you what mark or grade you achieved; formative feedback tells you what you did well or did not do well and how you can improve in future.
Formative feedback can come from almost anywhere and in many forms. As well as from your tutors, you can get feedback from family, friends and fellow students. Feedback might be verbal or might be written. In whatever form and no matter where it is from, for feedback to be useful it has to be honest and it has to change your performance for the better.
How we respond to feedback can vary a lot, whether positive or negative.
If the mark is good, the tendency is to ignore the comments. If the mark is bad, the tendency is to be too disappointed to read the comments.
HOT TIP: Use critical feedback to face up to weaknesses to be dealt with. Use positive feedback to identify strengths to build upon.
There are two principles you should consider as a student:
- feedback is 'Aligned' and
- feedback is 'Future-Focused'.
Briefly, these mean the feedback will be in synch with learning outcomes and will be aimed at improving your future assignments.
The 'Aligned' principle refers to the alignment of the feedback you receive with the learning outcomes for the unit.
When you get your written feedback, compare it closely with the learning outcomes of the unit. Did your submission meet all the aligned objectives of the assessment? What suggestions are there that could help you achieve the learning outcomes? For examples of this process, watch this brief video of your student colleagues explaining how they were able to align feedback with the learning outcomes of the unit.
The 'Future-Focused' principle refers to the need for feedback to be applicable to future studies or to the future workplace.
When you get your written feedback, think carefully about how you can use it to your advantage in future assessments. This might be in regard to specific topic-related comments that will help you improve a later assignment in the same unit or in extensions of the unit in later years. Some comments may be more generally applicable to all subjects. Think about how you will use this feedback to improve future submissions. For examples of this process, watch this brief video of your student colleagues explaining how they were able to apply feedback to future studies.