Written Feedback

posted in: Teaching Strategies | 0

A common lament among teachers is the fact that students don’t seem to apply the feedback they are given, whether that feedback comes from peers or teachers. In terms of student feedback, this is most likely because the feedback provided lacks specificity. In terms of teacher feedback, it is probably because there is no reason for applying the feedback.


Student Feedback:

  • Pettigrew and Hui (2017) argued that students need to learn to be more analytical and critical when providing feedback. Usually, student feedback provides very little direction (e.g., Needs more punctuation) rather than being meaningful and descriptive (e.g., Use speech marks around words that are being spoken. “I’m unhappy,” complained Mrs Smith.).
  • To support students in crafting meaningful feedback, the examples pictured below were provided by Pettigrew and Hui. Students were then given examples of different types of feedback and were required to organise them into the appropriate level of feedback as well as providing a rationale for their decision. Students then attempted to provide category 4 feedback to their peers.

Teacher Feedback:

  • When students receive their marked writing, they most commonly look at the final mark. Most don’t even bother to read the comments, let alone apply the feedback to the next assignment.
  • Students need a motivation to read and apply feedback. One easy, but effective, way of achieving this is through double submissions. Students submit their work as per normal and receive a grade and feedback, as per normal. However, students are required to resubmit their work (along with their original submission) and this work is remarked. A part of this second mark reflects the extent to which students heeded the feedback provided in the first submission. This strategy provides students with a reason to firstly read the teacher’s comments and secondly to immediately apply this feedback.


Pettigrew, K., & Hui, J. (2017). Giving problem solving a helping hand. The Reading Teacher. DOI: 10.1002/trtr.1622