What is Feedback? Why does it matter?

Feedback is information from an external source about your performance.  In the classroom, students often receive feedback from peers, the teachers, and the instruments used to facilitate learning.  Teachers also receive feedback about their performance from students!  When communicated clearly and positively, these messages can significantly increase learning.  However, negative feedback can be detrimental to the student experience.  Success in the digital learning environment requires teachers to carefully plan their feedback strategies!

Feedback should focus on progress towards meaningful goals

Productive messages help the student bridge the gap between where they are now and where they are meant to be.

"Effective feedback needs to address one of three major questions asked by the teacher and/or by the student:
Where am I going?
How am I going?
Where to next?"

- John Hattie

Sutton, R., Hornsey, M.J., & Douglas, K.M. (Eds., 2011), Feedback: The communication of praise, criticism, and advice. Peter Lang Publishing: New York.
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Feedback must be received to have value

Providing personal and targeted feedback that is understood by the student is more valuable than the quantity of feedback.

"Many students are simply unable to understand feedback comments and interpret them correctly...We need to shift the emphasis into 'feeding forward' into a piece of work, rather than simply 'feeding back'."

- Richard Higgins, Peter Hartley, & Alan Skelton

Richard Higgins, Peter Hartley & Alan Skelton (2001): Getting the Message Across: The problem of communicating assessment feedback, Teaching in Higher Education, 6:2, 269-274
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Effective Feedback Flows in Both Directions

Most feedback tools provide just as much information about the quality of teaching as they do about the quality of learning.

"Teachers too often see assessment feedback as making statements about students and not about their teaching and hence the benefits of feedback from such testing are often diluted."

- John Hattie

Sutton, R., Hornsey, M.J., & Douglas, K.M. (Eds., 2011), Feedback: The communication of praise, criticism, and advice. Peter Lang Publishing: New York.
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