Student Feedback: What it is & Why it Matters

Usually in universities, and colleges at any level, -especially at the higher level when teaching-, teachers are evaluated in terms of performance, methods, and other important issues for teaching. These evaluations happen from time to time, usually at the end of a school year, either every six months or a year. Let’s talk about student feedback.

What is Student Feedback?

Student feedback is the data collected from students about their experience in their educational institutes. It can be verbal, written, or gestural. And it is used by institutions or teachers to implement future improvements over what is currently being done. It can be conducted with the help of student feedback software.

Student feedback software is used to collect feedback from students on various aspects of education like quality, relevance, method of teaching, teachers, logistics, etc. You can also use these tools to create survey for kids or students about an event, their experiences as compared to the expectations, or learn more about their opinions about a certain topic.

It helps you to improve student, campus, faculty, and alumni experience. You can identify what are the improvement areas that need attention. Such tools offer a voice to the students and help academic institutions to improve graduation rates, applicant experience, and alumni giving.

Now, strictly speaking in its definition Feedback is any response regarding a student’s performance or behavior. Feedback focused on students is equally or even more important than evaluations, since it provides feedback and serves to improve their learning.

Benefits of Student Feedback 

As we said, the purpose of feedback in the assessment and learning process is to improve a student’s performance and its benefits are that can improve a student’s confidence, self-awareness, and enthusiasm for learning. Effective feedback during the first year in university can aid the transition to higher education and may support student retention.

Another benefit is that they can improve and implement better learning methods such as, improving their notes, making better summaries, and even study groups. It is important to mention that there are different types of feedback.

Student Feedback Types

Corrective feedback informs a student about what they did correctly, as well as what they did incorrectly. Simply telling a student what is right and wrong is not an effective way to provide feedback. Instead, providing a student with an explanation if they got something right or wrong is beneficial to a student’s academic achievement.

When a student is provided with an explanation, they are less likely to repeat the same mistake. In addition, corrective feedback should encourage a student to keep up the effort.

We could classify the type of feedback in this: 

  • Timely feedback

It is provided to a student shortly after they have completed the work that is being graded. Students are more receptive to feedback when a concept or skill is recent in their memory. Failure to provide timely feedback may hinder a student’s learning ability if they are not able to relate the feedback to the concept being learned.

  • Criterion-referenced feedback

It is based on standards that a teacher can measure a student’s progress against. The same criteria are used for every student and measure the student’s mastery of a skill or concept, rather than comparing the progress of one student to another. For criterion-referenced feedback to be effective, teachers should develop student learning objectives prior to exposing the curriculum to students.

  • Student-facilitated feedback

It is generated by a student in regard to their own work; students are actively involved in the feedback process. Student-facilitated feedback is effective when teachers provide structural methods for students to utilize when evaluating their own work. Structural tools may include speed tracking charts, often used in assessing multiplication skills, or rubrics, which can help a student evaluate writing assignments. Teachers are able to provide targeted feedback based on a student’s self-assessment of their work.

Student Feedback Examples

Some examples of positive feedback to students are:

  • Recognizing the student’s effort even though they missed the concept of an assignment. For example, ”I appreciate the hard work you’ve put into this paper; however, I was hoping you would have included information on the benefits of physical activity. You’re almost there, keep up the hard work!”
  • Pointing out exactly where the problem is in a student’s work while encouraging them to not give up. For example, ”You’re headed in the right direction, you just forgot to add both numbers before dividing. You’ve almost got it!”

Conclusion

In conclusion, the feedback that students receive is of utmost importance for their cognitive development of the students, as the phrase goes “from mistakes you learn” and having feedback on what you have done wrong and being aware of it can fine-tune details in the students’ learning method.

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