Feedback formats

On this page, you can find explanations and descriptions of different feedback formats, concepts, and methods. Please navigate the menu on the left to find practical examples of teachers applying these methods actively in class and find inspiration.

<strong>Generic / Specific</strong>

Generic feedback means, that the student gets standardized feedback that addresses the level of the performance. Generic feedback has to be created carefully in order to provide different types of learners with sufficient feedback. When generic feedback is developed, it can be re-used without further adjustments.

Specific feedback is given to individuals or groups. The specific feedback depends both upon the context and challenges.

<strong>Anonymous / Public</strong>

Anonymous feedback has the advantage of providing students with negative feedback without the risk of losing face in the eyes of peers. It creates an opportunity to provide feedback on a single performance to a particular student, without him/her feeling personally attacked.

Receiving negative feedback in public can be humiliating if it is directed to the performance of a single student. Therefore, it is recommended that feedback is provided by pointing out examples of insufficient argumentation and methodological problems that cut across the performance of the entire class.

<strong>Peer / Teacher</strong>

Feedback from peers can be established in almost any kind of teaching organization. In a peer feedback activity, the student learns from receiving feedback as well as providing feedback. Peer feedback must be formally organized to ensure that students provide each other with feedback relevant to the learning objectives of the task. It is important to underline, that peer feedback should not turn into a competition or result in a grade.

Providing students with feedback is an essential part of being a teacher. Due to teachers’ academic competencies, feedback from teachers is often seen as having more validity and hereby more authority compared to feedback from peers. In situations where both feedback from teachers and peers occur, teachers often have a conclusive function.

<strong>Individual / Collective</strong>

Individual feedback is when students receive feedback on individual tasks, performances, or products. Feedback on the individual level is ideal for every student since this type of feedback applies directly to what that student has achieved and how they could improve. Examples of individual feedback activities include written feedback on products, automatic feedback on quizzes, and oral feedback in class. However, individual feedback is not always possible, specifically in large classes, where time and resources are scarce. This is where collective feedback activities can be introduced to make sure that all students receive feedback.

Collective feedback is happening when you provide feedback to a larger cohort of students at once. This is ideal when you are teaching large classes, or have multiple student groups that require feedback on their performance. Examples of collective feedback practices are oral collective feedback in class on assignment results, written feedback in Canvas on student performances, and group feedback in supervision.

Click here to see more examples of individual and collective feedback activities.