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P5 Activity

Pen in hand IconWork through the BBC online tutorial at:
It’s a well-designed example of an online tutorial too.

Also have a look at:

Encyclopaedia of Educational Technology

Further reading

(McGill and Beatty 1994) provide useful suggestions about giving effective feedback:

“1. Clarity

2. Emphasise the positive

3. Be specific

4. Focus on behaviour rather than the person.

5. Refer to behaviour that can be changed.

6. Be descriptive rather than evaluative.

7. Be very careful with advice.  People rarely struggle with an issue because of the lack of specific piece of information.  Often, the best help is helping the person to come to a better understanding of their issue, how it developed, and how they can identify actions to address the issue more effectively.”

Beatty (1994) Action learning: A practitioner’s guide. London: Kogan Page p159-163.

Principles to guide your practice

Feedback should be:

  • Constructive
    so that students feel encouraged and motivated to improve their practice.
  • Timely
    so that students can use it for subsequent learning and work to be submitted.
  • Prompt
    so that students can recall what they did and thought at the time.
  • Supportive of learning
    should be linked to a clear statement of orderly progression of learning so that students have clear indications of how to improve their performance.
  • Focused
    on achievement, not effort. The work should be assessed, not the student.
  • Specific to the learning outcomes
    so that assessment is clearly linked to learning.
  • Consequential
    so that it engages students and they are required to attend to feedback, removing the need for continually giving the same student the same advice.
  • Fostering of independence
    so that it leads students to being capable of assessing their own work.
  • Efficient
    for staff to do.

Types of feedback

  • Informal
    worked examples (e.g. verbal feedback in class, personal consultation).
  • Formal
    in writing (e.g. checklists, written commentary, generic exemplars).
  • Direct
    to individual student (either in written form or in consultation).
  • Indirect
    to whole class (e.g. generic exemplars).
  • Formative
    given during the run of the topic, enabling risk taking and adjustment prior to final submission.
  • Summative
    given at the end of a topic, with the purpose of letting students know what they have achieved.


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