Effective Feedback for Student Growth
- Teaching Strategies
- Inclusive & Equitable Teaching
Last modified: October 3, 2022
Feedback is one of the most powerful tools instructors can use to influence student learning.
Set Students up for Success
Giving whole-class feedback about strategies used by successful students can help start students off strong.
- Encourage students to use metacognitive strategies
- One way to do this is to narrate your thought process out loud when giving a demonstration
- Help students schedule blocks of time to complete work
- Ask students to use a calendar to map out time for homework or plan out a complex project
- Give time estimates for assignments to help students plan (and understand the level of work expected)
- Sharing models of past work or sample work can be helpful, too
- Let students know about support services (Learning Center, Writing Center, Library) AND reinforce that successful students use these resources
- Set high expectations and let students know you have confidence that they can meet them
Encourage a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that intelligence is not "fixed," and that a person can improve in a subject with effort and support.
- Teach students about the concept of growth mindset
- Help students see that mistakes are a part of the learning process
- Provide support for successful habits
- Use “wise feedback” framing statements (see below for more on this)
- Consider your own mindset - how can you demonstrate a growth mindset to your students?
For incorrect answers:
- Can you say more about that?
- This is an important misconception. Let’s look at it more deeply.
- I’m glad you mentioned that. It is a common misconception. Let’s look more closely at…
- I also struggled with this concept when I first encountered it.
- A lot of students have difficulty with this.
Feedback on Assignments
Even though giving feedback is very important, it can also be time-consuming to implement. Here are a few tips to help manage your workload:
- Keep a document where you can save frequently used feedback & comments
- Come up with several “wise feedback” statements that you can reuse
- If you notice that you are consistently giving the same feedback, reflect on your instruction and assignment to see if they need changes
- If students aren't reading or using the feedback you give:
- Have them incorporate the feedback into the assignment and resubmit
- Ask them to write a response to your feedback
- Share the feedback first, and once students have read the feedback, then release the grade for the assignment