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Part 3 - Tools for an Equitable Feedback System: Actively Seeking Feedback

This series of posts will cover a variety of bite-sized strategies that can be incorporated into a more holistic feedback system. To learn more about the research behind these approaches, we recommend you first read our white paper.

Part 1 - Feedback is Emotional
Part 2 - Engaging with Criteria

Winstone, Nash, Parker, & Rowntree (2017) argue that proactive recipience is necessary for students to fully benefit from feedback information. Proactive recipience is "a state or activity of engaging actively with feedback processes, thus emphasizing the fundamental contribution and responsibility of the learner.” The information communicated in formative feedback is just part of the equation; it won't have significant impacts on student learning unless students also develop feedback literacy and the agency to act on feedback.

Creating systems that encourage student to actively seek out feedback, and planning activities that teach the skills of seeking feedback, will support students in being more proactive regarding feedback in the future.


  • Feedback Requests: I ask students to look over the rubric and pick one, specific criteria around which to seek feedback. When they submit work for formative feedback, I can answer their question more quickly than if I were reviewing the entire sample. Even better, students are more receptive to my direction because they asked for it!
  • Digital Office Hours: I find that it's hard to get many of my students to attend office hours because that limited time rarely falls when they're ready to work. By offering digital office hours with Floop, I can be available to students asynchronously when they are ready to work. Students can submit work, I give them feedback when I have time, and then they're more likely to revise because the feedback comes when they're prepared to work on it. 

  • Feedback Dialogues: Many feedback systems (both high- and low-tech) treat feedback as simply a transmission of information from teacher to student. To be effective, feedback should be a conversation. I like to respond to my students work with questions and then give them dedicated time (DIRT) in class to respond. This lets students engage authentically with feedback before they're expected to apply it to revision or future feedback. 

Building a Holistic Feedback System

These strategies meet the following criteria

Actionable Information

☐ Focuses feedback on task, process, or regulation
☐ Supports timely communication of feedback information
☐ Structures feedback to include information about goals, progress, and activities for improvement
☐ Aligns feedback with standards and criteria
☐ Supports a variety of assessment and feedback types

Feedback Literacy

☐ Supports guided self-assessment
☐ Supports guided peer-assessment
☐ Supports worked examples
☐ Supports engagement with grading criteria
✓ Asks students to specify the feedback they would like to receive
☐ Encourages students to thoroughly read feedback information
☐ Encourages students to revisit prior feedback information
☐ Emphasizes the connection of one assignment to the broader learning outcomes

☐ Supports a positive relationship between feedback provider and recipient

Agency to Act

☐ Makes evident when feedback information has been used to improve work
✓ Promotes dialogue and discussion around feedback information
☐ Supports sequencing of tasks to promote application of feedback
☐ Supports sharing of tailored resources or alignment of resources with learning needs

☐ Supports goal-setting and reflection in response to feedback
☐ Supports development and execution of an improvement or revision plan
☐ Supports revision and resubmitting of work
☐ Supports the organization of feedback to reveal patterns and themes
☐ Supports the showcasing of work that evidences growth in response to feedback


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Part 2 - Tools for an Equitable Feedback System: Engaging with Criteria

This series of posts will cover a variety of bite-sized strategies that can be incorporated into a more holistic feedback system. To learn more about the research behind these approaches, we recommend you first read our white paper.

Part 1 - Feedback is Emotional

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