Before we begin thinking about feedback, discuss the following: What is the purpose of feedback?
How and when do you typically give feedback?
What do you comment on?
How much time do you spend giving feedback?
Do you pick up on general mistakes and feedback in class?
Do you think students take on board your feedback?
Can you think of any better ways of giving feedback? (time dependent)
Approaches & strategies
There are many different ways and levels of giving feedback. If students are able to submit draft copies of their essays/writing then the feedback that you give them at this stage is vital for the students to improve their work.
Let’s look at your pre-workshop task to see how you have chosen to give the student feedback.
Here are a number of ways to give feedback on draft essays/writing.
Overall comment at the end of the essay
Example 1 (Mark awarded 48%)
This essay would have been much better if it had addressed the exact question. It is important to answer the question you have been given. Many students underachieve because they answer questions that they were not asked to answer. Everything you write should be linked to the exact question. In your case, there was a lack of focus that affected your mark negatively. I am confident that had you focused on the exact question you would have achieved a higher mark.
Example 2 (Mark awarded 62%)
Suitably structured and developed. Well done.
Example 3 (Mark awarded 49%)
Reasonably focussed but some arguments are unsupported and some material is irrelevant. You need to re-think the organisation as it is not clear. Some problems with linking devices. Limited range of grammatical structures and vocabulary.
Discuss with a partner:
What are the advantages of this approach?
What are the disadvantages of this approach?
Would the students benefit from the feedback given?
In-text feedback (using track changes & comments)
Read what the student has written and the comments made by the teacher.
Discuss the following:
Do you feel the student would benefit from this level of comments? If yes, how? If not, why not?
Do you have the time to give this level of comments?
Reformulation can be a good technique to use during the draft stage. It can make students consciously aware of some of the key issues involved in academic writing.
Below, is an example which I have used with my students.
What is reformulation?
Reformulation is a mistake correction technique used on the output (more typically written) of language learners. The technique requires the students to reflect on their own writing and ‘notice the gap’ between their current written output and that of a native or near-native speaker. This technique aims to help students develop their writing (in this case) or speaking skills.
Read both the original and the reformulated essay and answer the questions.
This essay will discuss whether cosmetic surgery is making teenagers obsessed with their appearance. Cosmetic surgery is a “surgery that modifies or improves the appearance of a physical feature, irregularity, or defect.” (The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary, 2007). This essay will show why cosmetic surgery is not making teenager obsessed with their appearance by first explaining that it is not the surgery itself, then by giving the reason why it might still contribute in the obsession and finish with the clarification that it is not teenagers that are obsessed with their appearance due to surgery.
Cosmetic surgery can be defined as a “surgery that modifies or improves the appearance of a physical feature, irregularity, or defect” (The American Heritage Medical Dictionary 2007). This essay aims to discuss whether cosmetic surgery is making teenagers obsess with their appearance. It is evident that this procedure alone is not the only culprit. This essay will start by giving some background information about cosmetic surgery and how it is not the surgery itself that is making teenagers obsess. We will conclude by stating that it is not in fact teenagers that are obsessed with cosmetic surgery but older people between 40-54 years old.
1. What similarities and what differences do you notice between the two texts? Consider the following: vocabulary used
grammar (e.g. passive vs. active)
structure of the paragraph
cohesion (theme and rheme)
the way in which the question is answered e.g. does it discuss?
2. Focus on what the native writer did not change. Why do you think the native writer did not make changes in these instances? Be specific.
3. Look at the changes the native writer made. Why do you think these changes were made? Be specific.
Discuss with your partner/group:
As a learner, how would you feel about carrying out this type of activity?
Do you think your students could benefit from this type of activity?
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of carrying out this type of task?
The same type and level of feedback can be given for the final draft. But at this stage, it can be important to consider the mark scheme.
Discuss with a partner/group:
If your students have continued to make the same errors in their final draft, how could you prevent them in the future?
Consideration of the mark scheme
Below you will see the mark scheme for a report plan. This was given back to the students (the necessary sections where the students fell were highlighted) together with a copy of the student’s report plan with detailed comments.
Once the students had all received their comments and marks, the teacher spent some time going through the most common errors.
Discuss with a partner/group:
How important is it to show the students the mark scheme before they submit their work?
How can the students benefit from seeing it?
Below you will find 1: Report plan marking feedback and 2: Essay final draft feedback (TEACHER HIGHLIGHTS THE STUDENTS ABILITIES AND GIVES BACK TO THE STUDENT TOGETHER WITH SPECIFIC COMMENTS WRITTEN ON THEIR REPORT PLAN OR ESSAY)
Name of student: Mark:
LESS THAN SATISFACTORY
Applies to all parts
The plan is completely
relevant to the task, fully developing all
content points; the purpose of the report is clearly and fully explained, the information is
The plan covers the
requirements of the
task but the content
points could be more fully extended; the purpose of the report is presented; the information is appropriately presented in spite of minor inaccuracies.
Sources (when required) are integrated very successfully into the text, and formal conventions adhered to.
Accurate and complete list of references
Sources (when required) are integrated successfully into the text, and formal conventions generally adhered to.
Generally accurate list of references
Sources (when required) are integrated partly into the text, and some points may not be supported. There may be some inconsistencies with formal conventions.
Minor errors/ omissions in list of references
Sources (when required) are insufficiently integrated into the text, and points tend to be unsupported.
Major errors / omissions in list of references
Sources (when required) are insufficient or missing
No list of references
No list of references
Level of Criticality
There is very strong evidence of criticality and analysis
There is some evidence of criticality and analysis.
There is limited evidence of criticality and analysis; the writing may lack depth or be mainly descriptive.
There is little evidence of criticality or analysis; the writing is primarily descriptive.
There is little or no evidence of criticality or analysis.