Written Feedback – The Dos and Don’ts
Written feedback is just as important as verbal feedback. You should, however, understand when and how to provide written feedback. Whatever type of feedback, it needs to be constructive. As your students need to be able to benefit from the feedback and understand their areas for improvement. How you give and present feedback is crucial! However, giving feedback may feel unnatural at first, so you need to practise and aim to improve. As this will benefit your students more. In this blog, we’ll go over how you can write better feedback, giving you some advice and do’s and dont’s to help you with written feedback, as well as to help improve your student’s experience.
What is Written Feedback?
We’ve discussed this previously in another blog, but to recap, written feedback is a physical record of guidance. Aimed at your learners, for them to improve their skills and grow. There are many ways to give feedback. Some of which, are evaluations, reviews or weekly meetings. Alternatively, this feedback can be formal or informal.
When to give Written Feedback?
Written feedback is a great way to document a learner’s progress, as it leaves a paper trail. This means you can refer back to it when you’re tracking learner progress or moving towards specific goals. Feedback in general needs to be both positive and negative. So the learners know what went well and how they can improve in the future. Let’s dive into where and when to give effective written feedback.
- When a learner has completed a test or an assignment.
- Where you can give them a grade and specific feedback on that assignment
- When you have the time to give it in detail
- If the comments are straightforward and don’t need a conversation
- To encourage and motivate students
Written feedback is permanent so it’s crucial that you take a moment to thoroughly read over the feedback. Making sure the learner can understand the feedback and there are no gaps for miscommunication. Also, be encouraging in the feedback, if the learner doesn’t understand, make it easy for them to come and have a chat with you about the feedback so they have clarity on the statements.
Furthermore, you need to check your tone of voice within your writing. Even though you may have a neutral or positive tone, warm and positive intentions don’t always come across in writing. Make sure to include clear and unmissable signs of encouragement for the learner.
When not to give Written Feedback?
There are situations when giving feedback isn’t necessary. As we mentioned, feedback should be constructive, no matter how you give it or the form it’s in. Constructive feedback should include, what the learner did well, what needs improvement and steps on what to do next as it can be confusing for the learner. Especially if they need to decipher the feedback to get to the improvement. The feedback needs to help motivate them as well. Any positive feedback needs to be specific and complimentary. Here are some examples of when and where to not give written feedback.
- Feedback isn’t actionable for the learner,
- The feedback is based on personal emotions and not the content itself,
- Written feedback is too complex to explain
- If you feel the feedback will be received better in a verbal format rather than written.
If your feedback is based on personal emotions you need to take a step back and evaluate your thoughts and feelings. You need to think about why you’re giving the feedback and for what reason. You don’t want your feedback to be taken out of context by others. If you feel like it might be, make sure to use verbal feedback.
As an Assessor?
In conclusion, written feedback is a valuable tool for assessors because it allows them to provide detailed, comprehensive feedback to students in a clear and organised manner. As well as highlighting areas for improvement, written feedback can highlight areas of strength. It can provide specific suggestions for how students can improve their work. Additionally, written feedback allows assessors to take the time they need to carefully review and consider the work, and it provides a permanent record of the feedback for both the student and the assessor. Overall, written feedback is an effective way for assessors to support student learning and growth.
If you have any questions or need further guidance with written feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team by either phone or email! You can call us on 01205 805 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help.