10 TIPS To Providing Quality Feedback

Feedback can be given in multiple forms and outlets, but if you want it to be effective it must be “clear, purposeful, meaningful” (Hattie & Timperley, 2007)

Effective feedback has a positive impact on student motivation and performance. Here are 10 tips for providing quality, effective feedback.

1. Be Specific

Avoid using vague statements such as “Great job” or “Needs work”.  The purpose of specificity is to give guidance without doing the work for the student.  If there are errors, identify the types and refer to the assignment criteria.

2. Timely

The purpose of timing is for students to get feedback while they are still mindful of the learning target and have time to act on it. 

If we wait too long to give feedback, you can lose the moment and the student may have more difficulty connecting feedback with an action. Also, make sure that students understand your definition of timeliness.  When should they expect feedback from you?

3. Be Clear

Clarify for your students what good performance looks like.  Give them a goal to strive for.

Make sure that you are not using vocabulary or jargon that students will not understand.Make sure that you are not using vocabulary or jargon that students will not understand.

4. Personalized

Use the student’s name or something you have learned about them when giving feedback.  

5. Actionable

The purpose of being actionable is that students are able to take your guidance and use it to improve upon that assignment or the next.

Take note of the progress the student has made, not what is wrong.  Make specific suggestions of what they could do to improve.

6. Meaningful

Meaningful feedback helps students learn and grow in their knowledge.  Keep in mind that the feedback you provide should be useful and applicable to the assignment.

7. Appropriate Tone

The purpose is to communicate respect for the student as a learner and inspire them to be active.

Choose words that are respectful and ask questions that will promote a dialogue.

8. Task Focused

The purpose is to describe specific qualities of the work and how it relates to the learning targets.

Avoid making personal comments about the student.  Comments should be focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the assignment submission.  Then make recommendations about a strategy that could improve the work.

9. Appropriate Mode

The purpose is to communicate your message in the most appropriate way.

Appropriate Mode
– Use written feedback for students to save and look over.
– Use a video if you need to demonstrate how to do something.
– Use oral feedback if there is more information to cover than they may want to read.

10. Amount

Focus on those areas where a student can improve that would make the most impact. What will relate most with the learning goals? Returning an assignment with EVERY error edited can be overwhelming for a student.


The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.

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