Improving Feedback Literacy

Three students discussing at a tableFeedback literacy can be defined as “the understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make sense of information and use it to enhance work or learning strategies".

Students’ feedback literacy involves an understanding of what feedback is and how it can be managed effectively; capacities and dispositions to make productive use of feedback; and appreciation of the roles of teachers and themselves in these processes” (Carless and Boud 2018).

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Ideas for developing feedback literacy

Much of developing feedback literacy crosses over with assessment literacy, and so it would be worth reading the assessment literacy resources as well. Some specific practical ideas for developing feedback literacy can be found below.

  • Peer critique and feedback - giving students the opportunity to read each other’s work and provide formative feedback based on marking criteria allows students to:
    • Develop their assessment and feedback literacy.
    • Judge their own work alongside that of their peers.
    • This is considered in more depth within the Elevate assessment resources.
  • Build time into your taught sessions for students to engage with feedback. Include a 15 minute discussion in class of feedback - ask students to discuss their feedback in pairs or small groups and come up with actions to take on their next assignment.
  • Build opportunities into the curriculum for students to use feedback - e.g. for a final summative assignment, ask students to provide a cover sheet explaining which aspects of feedback from formative assessment have been addressed.
  • Give students control over feedback - e.g. give students an opportunity to request feedback on a specific aspect of their work in advance of the assignment being marked.
  • A formative assessment could be developed in which a student critiques a previous assignment.
  • Integrate reflection on feedback into personal tutoring - ask students to bring examples of their recent feedback to discuss. Encouraging students to use the feedback portal may be useful here - this is a place where students can collect all of their feedback in one place for review and reflection.

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Further information

Links and downloads

Internal links:

Further reading
Carless, D. and Boud, D. 2018. The development of student feedback literacy: enabling uptake of feedback. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 43 (8), 1315-1325.