Why is feedback important?
Feedback is an essential part of effective learning. It helps students understand the subject being studied and gives them clear guidance on how to improve their learning. Bellon et al.1state 'academic feedback is more strongly and consistently related to achievement than any other teaching behaviour...this relationship is consistent regardless of grade, socioeconomic status, race, or school setting.' Feedback 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.2 Providing students engage with feedback, it should enhance learning and improve assessment performance.
- Race3 proposed the ripples on a pond model (PDF - 26KB) to highlight the importance of feedback in learning. The full paper, 'Using Feedback to Help Students Learn' can be downloaded from the reference section at the bottom of the page.
1. Bellon, J.J., Bellon, E.C. & Blank, M.A. (1991) Teaching from a Research Knowledge Base: a Development and Renewal Process. Facsimile edition. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, USA.
2. Yorke, M. (2002) Academic Failure: a Retrospective View from Non-Completeing Students. In: Failing Students in Higher Education (eds Peelo, M & Wareham, T). SRHE and Open University Press, Maindenhead.
3. Race, P. (2001) Using feedback to help students learn (PDF - 138KB). © The Higher Education Academy.