Principles of Effective Feedback (from Curriculum Corporation)
  • Is specific and avoids vague comments
  • Is varied in its method of application
  • Uses models showing desired outcomes
  • Shows a valuing of student work
  • Uses marks or grades only some of the time
  • Provides time for students to act on advice
  • Enables students to know how they will benefit

Methods of Feedback to Students
The method of feedback will depend on the age and ability of the student as well as the skill, product or task being assessed. No one method will suit all contexts, students or tasks and to be most effective, the method used should vary over time.

Written Feedback in Practice
  • "GROW" model - What is the GOAL; What is the REALITY; OPTIONS for improvement and WILLINGNESS to do the work or WHERE to from here?
  • Written reports to parents.
  • Notes on work – positive comments, notes for improvement, corrections, questions. Dom (see resources below) lists different ways of doing this, including the "PEN" method (Praise, Error and Next steps); the "PIE" method (Praise, Improvement and Encourgement) and the Praise Sandwich (a development point between to slices of praise).
  • Sticky notes attached to student work.
  • Wallwisher is a site where you can post digital "sticky notes" for feedback from students - "What kinds of feedback do you get from teachers?"
  • Comments to posts on student blogs, wikis or websites.
  • Google Drive – edits in margins, different colours.
  • Google Drive - a jointly edited document that enables you to get feedback from multiple sources quickly and easily - "What kinds of feedback do you use in the classroom?"
  • Word documents can be edited using “track changes”.
  • Ultranet

Verbal feedback in Practice
  • Parent teacher interviews
  • Three-way interviews (student-led conferences)
  • Peer feedback
  • Comments on oral presentations
  • Blackboard Collaborate, Voicethread, Voki, podcasting.
  • “SpeakPipe” can be added to any site, including blogs, and enables the user to leave a voice message.
  • "Kaizena" is an app linked to Google Drive which allows you to record verbal feedback which is embedded in the digital document. Richard Byrne, from "Free Technology for Teachers" describes how it works here; "Add voice comments to Google Documents with Kaizena".

Pictorial Feedback in Practice
  • Useful for younger students or students with disabilities.
  • “Thumbs up!”, stickers, stamps and smiley faces.
  • Quickly drawn cartoons, similar to “social stories”.
  • Using colours – Rainbow assessment with highlighters (for example, green = great!, Yellow = slow down and think can this be improved?, Pink = check your grammar or spelling)

Self-Assessment using Rubrics
  • Useful for older students to assist the transition to independent learning.
  • Requires clear criteria and very specific expectations.
  • Can be negotiated by the class prior to the project.

Resources
"Assessment: Feedback to promote student learning" Dorothy Spiller, Feb.2009 The University of Waikato - an excellent 19 page booklet describing effective feedback strategies in a question and answer format.
*"Descriptive Feedback - Assessment for Learning" video series and veiwing guide from Ontario, Canada. This pdf includes an excellent collection of quotes about feedback and a survey for teachers to reflect on the student feedback they give.
Ramblings of an Australian Teacher- Giving Valuable Feedback to Students” a blog post (September 2010)
Another blog post with ten different methods of “Effective feedback to students” (November 2009)
Chapter from a book by Susan M. Brookhart “How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students”
“Enhancing student feedback through effective formative feedback” The Higher Education Academy