Race (2002) identifies a variety of ways in which comments might be fed back to students and briefly outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
Some methods are listed below.
You should think through the potential advantages and disadvantages of each before adding it to your repertoire of techniques.
- Write (handwritten) comments on students' essays, reports, etc;
- Provide face-to-face feedback, where you discuss students' work with them, individually or in small groups.
- Compose "statement banks", from which you can draw often-needed explanations that apply to the work of many students, and craft these comments for each individual student.
- Email feedback directly to students. This can help ensure that the feedback is timely.
- Build an overall general collection of comments to the class as a whole, based on common achievements and frequent difficulties, posting this on FLO. Email individual students only with particular additional feedback they need.
- Use assignment return sheets or rubrics, where the criteria and standards have already been prepared (based on the intended learning outcomes associated with the assignment), The sheet or rubric should be supplemented with tailored advice to individual students about how to improve their own work.
- Use a "class report" on a task set to a large group of students, covering all the most important difficulties and misunderstandings, and adding individual feedback to students, addressing aspects of their work not embraced by the general report.
- Use model answers: these can show students a lot of detail which can be self-explanatory to them, allowing them to compare the model answers with their own work and see what they've missed out or got wrong.
- Give large-group feedback in a lecture. This is most appropriate for addressing common issues of content understanding or common problems with skills or techniques.
- Use the "track changes" facilities in word-processing packages to comment on students' electronically-submitted essays and reports, so they can see in colour the specific parts of the work at the click of a mouse on their own screens.
- Create your own checklist, a proforma on which you mark the relevant points for attention.
- Hand out an A4 sheet to the entire class with examples of appropriate responses, examples of some misconceptions with some explanations about why they were not correct, and resources for follow-up study to correct the misconception.