Feedback Assessment

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Definition

Feedback assessment is information about how the student is doing towards reaching a set goal and the next feasible steps. Feedback is usually provided by the teacher as part of both formative and often summative assessment. Feedback is a response to the student‘s work to support further learning towards a final goal.

Description

Feedback assessment comprises clear descriptive commentary as to where students are in their learning and what next steps could be taken to improve their work. Feedback supports cognition as it can help learners realise which of the knowledge and skills they hold are strong and which are weak. Sometimes feedback clears misunderstandings and misconceptions. Feedback supports metacognition, that is, students´ awareness of their own thinking. Effective feedback shows students how to consider their work, using criteria from the assignment, and apply self-assessment skills.

Benefits

Effective feedback can enhance students´ cognitive processing, increase their autonomy, foster resilience and provide strategies for next feasible steps. Feedback assessment supports students’ with self-regulation of learning, by helping them understand their learning goal and how close their current work is to it and what could be done next. Students become better at appraising their own work and learn the value of review and revision and reshaping of work for improvement. Where feedback is effecively applied: mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning and students are encouraged to accept them and learn from them; students are not afraid to ask for help; and assessments build on strengths and practice to overcome weaknesses.

Challenges

Where work is graded, some students will concentrate on that rather than seriously analysing descriptive feedback provided. The optimum time for feedback can be a challenge as the typical sequence of classroom activities and the time to turn in assignments are not supportive to written or discursive feedback. Students often look at grading as evaluation and judgement but the feedback must preferably be experienced as description and information. From a teaching perspective, feedback can be time consuming.

Applied to entrepreneurial education

Feedback assessment can be a good way to facilitate development of generic or transversal skills e.g. creativity. The emphasis is on progress not the final product. In order for feedback assessment to be constructive and effective in EE (or other kinds of education), the following suggestions can help: Positivity, including affirmations and highlighting the good qualities in the student‘s work as well as pointing out what needs amendment; Clarity; Being specific enough to be helpful but not so specific that the work is completed for the student; Being descriptive and focusing on the work and the process the student used to do the work;and, Adopting a constructive, rather than a deminding, tone, where the student is able to respond, e.g. asking the student What could you add? Change? etc. relevant to the assessment criteria.

Examples in practice

See