Teaching Tips

3 P’s of Feedback

Students often say they want more feedback because it helps them know if they are completing assignments correctly, working well with others, and meeting the expectations of the course.  Often, though, students do not realize that feedback occurs from different people and in different ways.  Feedback is not given exclusively by the professor.  Anytime a student wants feedback, help them identify what type of feedback they want: personal, peer, or professonial.

Personal feedback allows the students to self-reflect on their learning.  Students can complete a daily or weekly reflection that asks them questions such as their progress in the class, how long they spend on assignments, and if they still have questions about what they’re learning.  All of these essential learning components help the students be more self-aware of their learning.  Here are a few examples to provide opportunities for personal feedback:

  • Self-assessment
    • Grid with check marks
    • Created by student
    • Written response to a prompt
  • Set goals at the beginning of the semester and allow time for the students to check in about their goals. For more information about how to incorporate this into your course, click here.

Peer feedback provides support and structure to the classroom environment.  By providing opportunities for the students to trust one another and give each other feedback based on experience or learning from the text than on pre-conceived notions, this allows the students to grow.  Here are a few ways that peer feedback can be given:

  • Group responses – as a whole group, ask the students to give feedback that supports the learner.
  • Notecard responses – have students write down feedback on the front and back of the notecard. One side of the notecard, students write feedback that showcases what they liked about the student’s work, and on the other side, students write one piece of constructive feedback for the student’s work.

Professional (Professor) feedback is the most cherished feedback because students really want to know how they’re doing in a class.  Since many times students are not getting much feedback until grades, help them by giving them snippets of feedback throughout the semester.  Here are some suggestions of how to give the students feedback in addition to written feedback on assignments, tests, and papers:

  • Notecards – ask the students how they think they are doing in the class. You could even ask them if they need help with anything.    Then review the notecards and write a note back to each student about what they wrote.  This helps build community as well.   You could invite them to meet about their card if they would like additional support.
  • Emails to students – most students are plugged in these days. Sending an email with their progress in class shows that you care and that you want to support them.
  • Meetings with students – while time consuming, meeting with students is the best way to give them feedback. Instead of meeting with each student outside of class time, try to build in time to meet with them during class.  These meetings could occur while the entire class working independently or on a group assignment.  Each meeting would not need to take more than a few minutes.  Another way to meet with students is to cancel class to provide more meeting time with the students.  Students could be given a project to work on as well so content is still being covered.


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