Responsive and positive feedback

Feedback should be provided as soon as is practical after a learner has completed a formative assessment task. It should provide confirmatory and/or corrective information to learners who use this to either 'affirm' their schemas, or to adjust them in accordance with the feedback.

Feedback that is presented to a correct response should be very brief, perhaps as brief as a tick or statement of “correct” where it is clear that the learner has generated the correct response from held schemas. This is typically the case for written answers such as mathematical calculations or essays.

In situations where the learner may have successfully “recognised” the correct response rather than generating it (or perhaps even guessed it) such as occurs in multiple choice questions the positive feedback may also affirm the underlying fact or principle that has been correctly identified.

Feedback for incorrect or poor performance should use the incorrect response as a means to diagnose misconceptions or gaps in knowledge or skills. Corrective feedback should be customised to acknowledge and re-affirm the correct aspects present in the response and to specifically target how aspects of incorrect or incomplete knowledge or skills should be modified.

In summary, learners should receive brief positive feedback for assessment tasks in which they are successful and should receive customised corrective feedback for the specific aspects of information for which they do not yet demonstrate sufficient expertise.

Next: Consolidation