Feedback: Try Something ...


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This section provides some suggestions for simple things you could try if you would like to make small changes to the way you feedback


to separate giving back the mark from giving back the feedback

If you have a suspicion that some people may focus more on the mark than on your carefully prepared feedback, then you might like to try separating the two things. You could give back the feedback one week and the mark the next. You might get students to reflect on the interpretation of the feedback by getting them to predict the mark they got from the feedback you’ve given.

You could even offer them a bonus 5% for an accurate prediction, to encourage reflection. If you do this, you need to make rules for the attribution of the extra marks. They would need to submit the predicted mark to you by a certain date before the actual mark was released; you would need to specify the degree of precision required (eg to within a degree classification band; within 5%); your decision is final. You also need time to compare the list of predictions with the actual list.

A final activity would be to have a brief class discussion about why the predictions were or were not accurate. You might think that this is all taking classroom time away from the content of the programme, but by helping students to engage with the outputs of the unit as well as the input you should be helping them to improve their understanding and performance.