Making feedback more constructive

Feedback is another opportunity to teach our students. When our students are focused on the assessment that they have just completed, we can talk about what they have done well in the assignment, what they might do better and what they can do differently next time. Many of us have opened our classroom doors to our colleagues and invited them to give us feedback on our teaching, but how many of us have shared our thoughts, ideas and strategies around our marking and feedback?

In this recording Ann Wilson presents a number of questions about feedback, and some ideas about how we might make writing feedback a more useful and constructive activity. The purpose of feedback is also discussed in the video (and previously in this infographic). Finally, Ann explores how rubrics can help teachers craft feedback that takes the student from a description of what they have done, to a description of what they might do in a future piece of work to achieve a higher grade or mark.

The key takeaways are:

  1. The importance of writing constructive feedback.
  2. The need to identify where and when the student can use this feedback next time. The future piece of work is important as it might impact the usefulness of feedback, and when and where the student can use the suggestions and ideas in the feedback they have received.
  3. The centrality of dialogue, of talking with our students about what the feedback means (some research indicates that students don’t always know what we mean) and also with our colleagues about the decisions and feedback we are making, about standards and levels and grades, and about what we say in our feedback (and the rubric is a great device for this conversation).

Watch it here:

See below for the slides from the presentation:

For more information, please contact Ann Wilson at or connect with her and continue the conversation around feedback and rubrics on Yammer.