How to give research-based feedback

A Keyset for Education Exclusive Resource

Meet Dr. Luke Mandouit

Education Researcher | Melbourne Australia

Luke has been a teacher and school leader in Melbourne, Australia for over 20 years. While working in school settings, he completed Graduate research in how student voice can be used to inform teacher professional learning. Following this, Luke completed Doctoral research investigating how students receive, interpret, and action teacher feedback. After four years working at Melbourne Graduate School of Education in educational research and teacher education, Luke has returned to the Secondary sector as a school administrator. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and presents locally and internationally in the areas of feedback, instructional practice, and evidence-based teaching.

Luke Mandouit Keyset

Feedback Principle 1

Task Specific Feedback

When giving feedback, it is important to direct the feedback towards the task, and not the student. Teachers should avoid general use of praise, and instead direct praise specifically to reinforce things done well on the task.

Feedback Principle 2

Consider the Amount of Feedback

 Feedback should be directed at the right level of challenge and connected to the learning goals of the task. Teachers should provide students with just three or four clear and actionable points of feedback. After the student has achieved these next steps, more feedback and further guidance can be provided.

Feedback Principle 3

Managing Feedback Expectations

Feedback needs to be tailored so it matches students’ level of challenge and understanding, as well as take into consideration their level of learning confidence and feedback preferences.

Feedback Principle 4

Connecting Feedback to Learning Goals

Teachers should be very focused in delivering feedback that is connected to the goals and criteria of each task. This feedback should identify any areas of growth as well as next steps to be taken.

Feedback Principle 5

Giving Time to Apply Feedback

Feedback is meaningless if the student has no opportunity to apply the feedback that is provided to them. Teachers need to carefully consider when they will provide feedback, and what learning tasks or activities will follow that will allow students to use this feedback to develop understanding and consolidate learning.

Feedback Principle 6

Providing Resources for Students

In addition to high level feedback, students also need resources to successfully respond to the teacher’s feedback. Examples of such resources include directing the student to use a dictionary, providing links to YouTube or self-teaching resources, or connecting the student with a more knowledgeable colleague, exemplar, or worked example.

Feedback Principle 7

Developing Student Self Regulation

It is vital to develop a student’s capacity to self-regulate so they can consider the progress of their work in relation to the learning goal and assessment criteria, and make decisions relating to what they need to do next to improve. This is a capacity that is developed over time, and one that teachers can build by establishing a classroom environment that guides student’s assessment of their performance.

Feedback Principle 8

Guiding Peer Feedback

The key to effective peer feedback is built on clearly defined learning goals and success criteria, and through structured and guided peer feedback.  Developing peer feedback practices will lighten the load on the teacher and will further develop student capacity to self-regulate and self-monitor their own work. 

Feedback Principle 9

Developing Feedback Literacy

Feedback literacy refers to a student’s capacity to appreciate feedback, make judgments about that feedback, and manage the effect of that feedback. These three elements combined, result in the student taking appropriate action. The most compelling aspect of feedback literacy is that it can be built from task to task, grade level to grade level, and between teachers.

Feedback Principle 10

Providing Feedback Follow Up

Feedback without follow up assumes that students can independently comprehend the information provided, make sense of the feedback relating to the next steps in learning, and see this as an opportunity for learning. Feedback follow-up builds relational trust and allows students the opportunity to clarify the feedback provided in a supportive environment that promotes learning.