Delivering feedback

The medium you use to deliver feedback can influence how students will receive it.

Written Feedback

The most commonly used form of providing feedback for formative and summative formal assessment tasks.  
This may be handwritten, or electronic using track-changes.

  • Advantages: The capacity to provide specific and extensive feedback on strengths and weaknesses. Can be re-read and referred too.
  • Disadvantages: Too much writing and students are less likely to read it. Too little, and they can be unsure how to improve.  Academic staff have a habit of writing in a professional 'academic' manner that many students, especially undergraduates, find difficult to comprehend or understand. So the feedback is lost.

Verbal Feedback

The most commonly used form of feedback for formative, and informal assessment tasks.
This may be oral feedback face-to-face, or via recorded audio or video tools.

  • Advantages: Is immediate and allows for confirmation and clarification. Verbalising feedback encourages 'natural language' and not academic jargon, thus allowing students to be more likely to comprehend and understand
  • Disadvantages: Not all staff are comfortable in delivering face-to-face feedback, especially if there are multiple issues with the task.  Cannot be referred to later, unless video or audio taped.

The use of video and audio to provide formal verbal feedback is gaining traction in all many areas of education, and in particular the tertiary sector, due to advantages highlighted above. Learning and technology tools to support this are listed below.

Resources, strategies or assistance