Providing students with quality feedback is essential to their success in your course and in their learning.  Feedback should give students the opportunity to see where they are in their learning and guide them to where they need to be.

Here are some critical components of quality effective feedback:

Be Specific

  • Identify student errors and provide useful learning strategies to help the student.
  • Statements like “great work” and “needs more work” are vague and do not give students direction on how they did well or how they can improve.
  • The degree of specificity will depend on the student.
  • The purpose of specificity is to give guidance without doing the work for the student.


  • Clarify your definition of timely, so students know what to expect.  Their definition of timely may be 2 hours and yours could be 2 days.
  • The purpose of timely feedback for students is to get feedback while they are still mindful of the learning target and have time to act on it. 
  • Provide feedback as soon as possible and as often as possible to answer questions or clear up misconceptions.


  • Use the student’s name or something you have learned about them when giving feedback.
  • Students recognize when you have taken the time to get to know them; students will be more likely to actively participate in the course.


  • Rubrics – You can use rubrics to provide quantitative and qualitative feedback. Rubrics are required when included in a course. Adding comments where points are deducted provides students with clarification on what they missed and why.
  • DocViewer – You can provide feedback directly on students submissions. This allows for targeted comments that draw students attention to a specific area of the submission.
  • Speedgrader – You can leave general comments in the assignment comments area.  You can also attach files and leave audio/video feedback.
  • Video/Audio – Providing video/audio feedback is a great way to personalize your feedback.  Giving students the opportunity to hear your voice or see your face allows them to connect more with you as an instructor.  Video/Audio feedback can also save time.

Please contact your RCTLE Team for any more questions, comments, or concerns.