It’s not too late to join Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching, a free massive open online course (MOOC) designed for new teachers, those who wish to enhance student learning or teaching practice and emerging leaders in higher education.

You can enrol now.

In a series of posts, I am sharing brief lessons from each of the modules in the MOOC. There are 24 modules in total and 4 possible pathways through the MOOC.

Feedback for Learning is Module 5. It is part of the ‘New to teaching’ pathway through the course.

Developed by Anna Rowe (University of New South Wales) this module shares the principles of feedback design, as well as diverse feedback practices and ways to promote student engagement with feedback.

Feedback is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching, especially for those just starting out. The key message is: feedback should be constructive. Feedback should be provided with the intention of being helpful; delivered respectfully, in a clear and mindful manner; and be solution or action-orientated.

The resources in the module guide you through feedback and feedforward and focus on the student experience.

Ask yourself: How feedback literate are your students?

‘Feedback literacy’ (Carless & Boud, 2018) is key to learners understanding the changes necessary to improve their future performance. There are four aspects of feedback literacy:

  • appreciating feedback;
  • making judgements;
  • managing affect; and
  • taking action.
Figure: Four domains of feedback literacy (Carless & Boud, 2018)

Let’s focus on one aspect: managing affect.

Because assessment is high stakes, in the sense that it is associated with achievement and failure, students can have more intense emotional responses than other aspects of learning including fear, pride, happiness, guilt and gratitude (Rowe, 2017).

Your own reflections provide the starting point for supporting students to manage the affective aspect of feedback.

Consider a time you received feedback (from a teacher, manager, co-worker, coach) that made you feel negative.

  • What was it about the feedback that made you feel like that?
  • What emotions did you experience?
  • How could the feedback have been provided in a more helpful way?
  • How and to what extent did you engage with the feedback? Were you motivated to read/listen to it?
  • What action did you take in response to the feedback (if any)?
  • What is one strategy that you could implement in your teaching to improve students’ emotional experience of feedback, and their likelihood to engage with it?

Need help developing your knowledge, skills and capabilities to follow this advice?

Enrol in Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching! The MOOC is free, self-paced and open to all. You can choose to complete just one module, a whole pathway (eg New to Teaching which is 8 modules) or more. Each module takes approximately 2 hours.

Previous posts in this MOOC series:

  1. Teaching your first class
  2. Planning for learning
  3. Teaching today’s diverse learners
  4. Technology enhanced learning (TEL) and online learning

Banner image: Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Posted by Agnes Bosanquet

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *