Written Feedback: Improving Student Learning

Written feedback can be a powerful tool for helping students to move forward in their learning. However, if we bombard the students with too much feedback, the students will shut down. Do you remember ever getting an English paper with more red marks than your original writing? Did you feel that it was hopeless to try to write?

Written feedback has the advantage that the student can refer to it over and over again. With oral feedback, the student may forget what was said.

Some techniques for effective written feedback:
– Sandwich your improvement feedback between what the student did well in terms of the standard.
– Focus on one to two critical aspects only. Do not comment on all five components of your Science lab report rubric.
– Word process your comments so that students can read them! If students hand in their work in digital format, you can add your comments in the appropriate places
– Word your feedback in student understandable talk.
– Instead of telling , asking questions
– Be positive or neutral, never negative!
– Be very concrete about what the student needs to do to improve. Avoid “Write better”, “Enlarge ideas,” and “Be specific.” Create a word processed list of concrete suggestions so that you can easily cut and paste.
-Review your written feedback notes for students to see if you need to do whole class, small group, pair or individual focused instruction.
– Allow an opportunity for the student to re-do the work. Student learning is the purpose, not a summative grade.

What other techniques do you use to give written formative feedback?

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2 Responses to “Written Feedback: Improving Student Learning”


  1. 1 home improvement companies savannah August 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I hardly write responses, but after reading
    some of the responses on Written Feedback: Improving Student Learning | Education with Technology Harry G.
    Tuttle. I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind.

    Could it be simply me or do some of the comments look like they are
    left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d like to keep up with you.
    Could you post a list of every one of all your social sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook
    page or twitter feed?


  1. 1 Bitesize Rewrites: Paragraph Revision Assignment | Robin Neal Trackback on January 19, 2014 at 10:39 am

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