Author Topic: Issues and problems with assessment feedback  (Read 629 times)

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Issues and problems with assessment feedback
« on: August 16, 2015, 01:04:33 PM »
Students often report having an unsatisfactory experience of getting feedback on their learning and assessment, and in particular that they would like more feedback, and they would like it be more useful and usable.
Staff often report that they spend a lot of time providing valuable feedback but cannot see the evidence of students learning from it.

These are amongst the most commonly reported  concerns of students:

•    Feedback is too late to influence learning.
This concern is often the result of the teacher providing assessment feedback too late in the unit, leaving little or no opportunity for the student to learn from it and adjust their approaches accordingly. Assessment feedback that is too late represents wasted effort by the academic, and wasted opportunity for students unless they are required to act upon it.

•    Feedback is cryptic.
 When feedback consists of pithy and cryptic responses by the marker (for example, “more”, “good”, “what’s this?”, “link?”, or simply ticks and crosses or punctuation marks), students are left to guess whether it is meant to be positive or negative, whether and how the feedback is related to their mark, and what they might do to improve their learning performance.

•    Feedback provides no explanation for action.
When feedback consists mainly of editing of grammar or spelling, and provides little or no explanation for them to act on, students report that they are often left not knowing what they have done well, what they need to change and why they have achieved the grade they have.

•    Good students miss out.
It is often students who do well who get the least feedback, often receiving little more than “excellent” on their work without gaining an insight into what they have done well and what they could do to enhance their performance. Often the opportunities to encourage a good student to perform even better are missed by not providing useful feedback.

•    Feedback is“one-off”.
Many assessment tasks are “one-off ”, intended to demonstrate students’ achievement for a summative grade, but lacking the opportunity for them to try again based on feedback from the first try. Such tasks do not encourage risk-taking, experimentation, creativity and practice.

•    Feedback is not progressive.
If assessment tasks and feedback do not acknowledge the progression of learning, students do not get a sense of where they are in achieving progress towards longer-term learning goals and what they have yet to achieve.
Academic staff also report concerns regarding their experience in giving assessment feedback, including the following:

•    Preparing feedback is time-consuming.
Preparing and giving useful assessment feedback can be very time-consuming for academics, particularly in large classes, and its value is completely negated if students don’t read it or act on it.

•    Giving feedback can be repetitive and unproductive work.
It is not uncommon for academics to find themselves giving the same or very similar feedback to many students; nor is it uncommon to give the same feedback to repeated efforts by one student, with little change occurring over time in student performance.

•    Feedback is too late to influence teaching.
Just as students express concerns when feedback is provided too late for them to benefit from it, academic staff lose the benefit that early assessment and feedback to students provides for them to adjust their teaching as a result of students’ performance.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 01:10:15 PM by ETQA Administrator »

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