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Effective Feedback Strategies

Encourage Students to Read Comments

Feedback is often used to justify a mark, and so when approached by students, we can refer to comments and read or explain them to the student whose main purpose is challenging a grade.

If the purpose of feedback is to support students’ improvement then some adjustments to the way we use feedback are called for.

Effective discussions

Some faculty use an innovative strategy of a “cooling-off” or “wait” period before allowing students to discuss the grades they have received on their papers.

Students will not be seen until a certain time has passed (e.g., two working days), the comments must be read by the student, and the student must come to the instructor’s office ready to respond to the feedback comments.

In this way, the ball is in the student’s court: she or he must support and justify a position with respect to the feedback.

Whatever the outcome of the discussion, there is benefit to the student because the comments have been processed.