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Feedback in University Teaching. Prof. Arif Khurshed Division of Accounting and Finance. Outline. The importance of feedback Feedback methods University policy on feedback Examples of good practices. What is feedback?. Summative provides a grade/mark for an assessment . Formative

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Feedback in university teaching

Feedback in University Teaching

Prof. Arif Khurshed

Division of Accounting and Finance


The importance of feedback

Feedback methods

University policy on feedback

Examples of good practices

What is feedback
What is feedback?


provides a

grade/mark for an



intended to modify the

learner’s thinking or

behaviour for the purpose

of improving learning.

  • A process by which the effect or output of an action is 'returned' (fed-back) to modify the next action.*

  • Feedback can be


The importance of feedback
The importance of feedback

  • Feedback is essential for effective learning

    • Helps students with their understanding of the subject

    • Provides guidance on how they can improve their learning

    • Identifies strengths and weaknesses in skills

    • Helps them to understand their progress

    • Provides a rationale for the grade awarded

Feedback misconceptions
Feedback- misconceptions

  • Arguably, the UK system is historically biased towards summative assessment

  • Students often (& sometimes fairly) complain about a lack of timely and useful formative “feedback”

  • However, it’s also crucial to address common student misconceptions about feedback…

Feedback misconceptions1
Feedback- misconceptions

  • Students tend to associate “feedback” with written comments on essays…

  • This can tend to be rather brief and generic, and can include negative or inaccessible language (which doesn’t work well as formative feedback)

  • But feedback comes via multiple routes and it is important to help the students to realise that

Multiple routes for feedback
Multiple routes for feedback

  • Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab. (For this, students need to participate!)

  • Online exercises and quizzes

  • Responses to your questions from a member of staff or tutor, including feedback provided via email, to a group via an online discussion forum or via FAQs

  • Specific course related feedback sessions

  • Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non assessed coursework

Multiple routes for feedback1
Multiple routes for feedback

  • Written and/or verbal comments after a group or individual presentation

  • Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall assessment performance (common problems, etc)

  • Group and individual discussions/meetings with an Academic Advisor or with a Programme Director

University policy on feedback
University policy on feedback


1. Feedback must be provided in a timely manner that helps students understand

(i) the marks or grades they have received for the work submitted, and

       (ii) how their performance might be improved in future. 2.  Feedback must be as personal as possible to the individual student to enable reflection on individual skills and performance.     3.   Students have a responsibility to consider feedback given on their work, to seek to understand it, and to act on it.

University policy on feedback1
University policy on feedback


1. Feedback must be timely and students must be made aware of the timetable for submission deadlines and dates on which feedback will be returned for each unit.2.  For all formative assessments and assessed coursework, feedback will normally be provided within 15 working days after the final submission deadline or exceptionally, and subject to prior approval by the faculty, within 20 working days after the final submission deadline

University policy on feedback2
University policy on feedback


1. Opportunities must be provided for students to discuss feedback in person with the unit teacher/s.2. Comments should be made on why students were awarded the given mark and how they can improve their work, including any recommendations for further reading where appropriate.3. Constructive criticism should be the overriding feedback style.4. Opportunities for feedback should be comparable in scope and scale between students and between units that are similar in style or structure.

What should students expect
What should students expect?

  • That your feedback will be:

  • Prompt

  • Individual

  • Constructive

  • Related to progression

  • Related to learning outcomes

What should students expect from tutors workshop leaders
What should students expect from tutors/workshop leaders?

  • Clarification and discussion of the lectures

  • The opportunity to discuss the themes of the course in seminars, with the tutor and with each other

  • Advice on prioritising their reading

  • Timely feedback on essay plans etc. where appropriate

  • Continuous informal feedback on the development of their understanding of the subject (and on their developing skills) through seminar discussions, presentations &c and on demand

Good practice
Good practice

  • Giving good feedback is a skill which can be improved over time

  • The Open University recommends the ‘feedback sandwich’

    • start with the good things- good news first!

    • move onto (constructive) criticism

    • end on a positive note for future improvement

  • Focus your feedback – be specific, relate feedback to learning outcomes and avoid unhelpful comments like “could do better”, “not a bad effort” etc.

  • Your feedback must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant & Timely)

Good practice1
Good practice?

  • You have written a good essay but there are some major issues with its introduction, your arguments and conclusions.

  • Mark: 87%

  • An excellent team effort. I enjoyed your presentation. Well done!

  • Mark: 48%

Further reading
Further reading

  • An excellent paper on ‘Focus on Formative Feedback’ by Valerie Shute,

  • Available at: