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What Should Teachers Know About Written Feedback

Feedback is not…

  • necessarily a reinforcement, because it can be accepted, modified, or rejected. By itself, feedback may not have the power to initiate further action by the student. (Hattie and Timperley 83)
  • the only answer … although it is a powerful one (Hattie and Timperley 105).


Feedback is…

  • “the information with which a learner can confirm, add to, overwrite, tune, or restructure information in memory”(Hattie and Timperley 82).
  • information given by a person who is considering aspects of a student’s performance and understanding, and it occurs after the instruction of certain knowledge and skills. (Hattie and Timperley 102)
  • targeted at students at the appropriate level to increase their current level of understanding. (Hattie and Timperley 86)
  • more effective than providing grades, because even though grades can increase involvement, they do not improve the student’s performance (Hattie and Timperley 92).
  • a “richly complex, highly context-dependent, and widely varied in method, style, and focus both within and across classrooms”(Anson 361).
  • often performed in a personal domain between teacher and student (Anson 374).
  • the single most important influence in making the classroom a safe place to write (Gilbert 50).


Feedback needs to be…

  • a process of learning that fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood (Hattie and Timperley 81).
  • addressed to the context being learned(Hattie and Timperley 83).
  • “aimed to move students from task to processing and then from processing to regulation” (Hattie and Timperley 91).
  • Combined with effective instruction in the classroom so that it can enhancing learning, and it needs to be built on something. (Hattie and Timperly 105)

Types of Written Feedback/Examples

  • Praise - “Good!
  • Approval - “I like…
  • Observations - “I see…”
  • Human responses - “I enjoyed…”
  • Neutral descriptions of the text - “I noticed…”
  • Questions - “Can you…” “Did you…”
  • Suggestions - “Try to…”
  • Advice - “Watch out for…”, “Read and fix…”
  • Negative comments - “Isn’t working” “Confusing” “I don’t understand” Awk”
  • Corrected spelling, pointed out problems, underlining, remarks in margins

(Frances 42)


Feedback and Basic Writing: Annotated Bibliography\\\\

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Page last modified on January 14, 2013, at 01:35 AM