One of the discussions that exists around the feedback space is that students don’t see ‘feedback’ that comes outside of direct personalised dialogue as feedback.

Teaching staff may feel that they are giving ample feedback via different forms, such as personal and collective feedback. However, when data is collected through student satisfaction mechanisms, ‘quality/amount of feedback given’ comes in lower than anticipated. In response, some have tried verbally labelling feedback for students (‘Now this is feedback…’) while keeping the information type the same. They have then reported that the resulting survey results have improved.

Problem solved, right? But if the question is ‘Are you being given sufficient feedback?’ I suspect the answer could be ‘yes’ – but it would be a begrudging ‘yes’.

When students hear the word feedback enough times I wager they don’t feel like they are in the position to complain about there being a lack of it. But what is being ‘fixed’ here is the number in a student satisfaction survey, not the nature of the issue that might actually be causing the discomfort.

Before ticking this one as done, let’s question a bit more what students actually mean when they say they want more feedback. Recent research has shown that students have a very different perception of what feedback is – or what the most meaningful feedback is – when compared to instructors.

Consider the methods you use to calibrate your feedback practice in our new resource Get feedback on your feedback.

And don’t forget there’s still time to register for next week’s Learning and Teaching Forum, where feedback will be the topic of the day.

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