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The aim of giving feedback is to improve the skills of your students in a specific subject. Feedback should be based on the student’s current level of ability and should include guidelines about how they can work towards the achievement of desired learning objectives. The way in which teachers organise their feedback can have a big influence on how students' learning processes and learning strategies develop.


                            Feedback starts the learning process

                            The aim of feedback is to promote student learning processes and improve their skills in a specific subject. You can use feedback in your teaching to support the ongoing learning processes of your students. There are two central points of feedback which teachers should be aware of: the way students understand your feedback, and the opportunities of students to use this feedback in their future learning process.
                            Feedback can give your students insight into their own learning because talking to their teachers or fellow students helps to define their knowledge of their subject and makes them aware of their learning process. Peer feedback is a good way to generate insight into individual learning processes because it helps students to use each other to improve their competences through academic discussions.

                            Feedforward to achieve learning objectives

                            Teachers can plan their feedback better if they are familiar with the current level of ability of their students. Your feedback can then guide your students to work towards the required level of ability. Feedback which shows students how to proceed with learning tasks is called feedforward. Feedforward involves regular, systematic guidelines to help students work towards specific objectives and learn more about their subject. Teachers can use feedforward by including feedback as an ongoing process in their teaching.

                            Good feedback practice promotes reflection

                            Feedback can help students to reflect on their learning process and enable them to take responsibility for it. This requires good feedback practice, because teachers have a big influence on how student learning processes and learning strategies develop. For instance, good feedback practice means that teachers are aware of the importance of encouraging dialogue, motivating the students, and using feedback to inspire the students to reflect on and assess their own learning process. Teachers can also use good feedback practice themselves to reflect on and improve their own teaching.    


                            Further readings

                            • Lynn, S. F. & Fuch, D. (1986): Effects of systematic formative evaluation. A Meta-analysis. Exceptional Children. Vol. 53, pp. 199-208
                            • Crooks, T. J. (1988): The Impact of Classroom Evaluation on Students. Review of Educational Reseach. Vol 58, No 4, pp 438-481.
                            • Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998): Assessment and Classroom Learning. Assessment in Education, 1, 7-74.
                            • Nicol, D. J. & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in higher education, 31(2), 199-218.
                            • Wiliam, D. (2015) Løbende formativ vurdering. DAFOLO.

                            Preben O Kirkegaard

                            Associate professor