Giving Students Feedback
At this time in the semester when students are handing in an assortment of assignments, it is important to provide meaningful feedback to guide their future performance and support their growth. Effective feedback can come in a variety of forms, but students find it most helpful when it is educative about what they are doing well and not so well, when it is timely, when it is personalized as much as possible, and when it provides models or examples of improved performance.
Given that effective feedback is often in tension with efficient feedback, and time is of the essence for faculty and students alike, there are several techniques that may make feedback more timely. These include using rubrics, possibly designed with students, that have pre-prepared language for different levels of performance on different criteria. One might also use self- or peer-feedback processes to both empower students in their own assessment, while also lessening the time faculty need to give to each assignment. Lastly, one might look for common concerns or suggestions across a class’s assignments and give it to the students as a group, rather than in multiple individual assignments.