How to give students feedback: 11 Teacher feedback examples and strategies

Giving specific and personalized feedback is one of the most valuable things a teacher can do. But it can be challenging to fit it into your classroom for every student that you teach. Add in remote learning, and it can seem impossible to connect to your students individually for feedback. We’ve rounded up a few ideas on incorporating feedback into your classroom, no matter your situation.

Student Feedback

Why does feedback matter?

Feedback has a tremendous impact in the classroom. Here are just a few reasons feedback is essential:

    • Personalized feedback is one of the most important intervention techniques teachers employ. 
    • Students feel more noticed when their teachers give them feedback. This provides a stronger connection between teacher and student. 
    • Feedback can come in all forms (written, verbal, physical), so you can individualize feedback for the hardest-to-reach students. 
    • Feedback creates a growth mindset culture in your classroom, leading to a more positive environment.

What are the main types of feedback?

Psychologist Carl Rogers categorizes feedback in five ways

    1. Evaluative: Evaluative feedback is one most managers turn to the most. It offers judgment on an action or skill with the hope that the feedback receiver improves. 
    2. Interpretive: Interpretive feedback comes from a need for clarification. It shows up in the classroom when you try to understand a student better or know why they did something. 
    3. Supportive: Supportive feedback often acknowledges effort or just a supportive action in general. 
    4. Probing: This type of feedback asks for more from the feedback receiver. Conversations might start, “What did you mean….”
    5. Understanding: When you communicate for understanding, you are trying to understand why an action is occurring before fixing it.

What are strategies and examples for student feedback?

Individualize feedback

It may seem like all teaching tips include the tip to individualize everything you are doing. This can feel daunting because you’re only one person. But giving individualized feedback is more effective, so it’s worth giving less feedback if it means you are personalizing it for the recipient. With TeacherMade, you can provide individualized feedback to any student you choose. 

Make it genuine

Students can see through it when you’re not genuine. Build better relationships with genuine feedback. You will be amazed by the line of communication you can open up with being authentic, respectful, and constructive with your student feedback. 

Be timely

The timing of feedback is everything. If you give it too much in the moment, you could cause embarrassment to the student. But if you wait too long, then you can miss the opportunity entirely. The student might not even remember their thought process when they are too far removed. Don’t let a slowdown in your grading stop you from giving timely feedback to your students. With TeacherMade, you can auto-score assignments, giving you more time to provide feedback.

Make feedback specific

It can feel frustrating to receive feedback that isn’t specific. “Do better on this essay.” “Read the material more deeply.” “Explain your answers better.” What does this feedback even mean? Get specific with your feedback. Point to directly what the student is doing well and what needs to improve. Use evidence. It’s easiest to fix an issue when you can identify it. 

Also, consider the amount of feedback you give. Often if there is too much feedback, it can feel unspecific. So try to focus on one area at a time.

Show others a great student example

Sometimes it can be hard to articulate what’s wrong with a specific assignment. Instead, showing off a great student example may be more effective. Not only are you rewarding a student with positive reinforcement, but you are offering constructive feedback via an example to other students. 

Feedback can be a check-in

A single piece of feedback doesn’t have to fix a problem altogether. Feedback can be a check-in on an issue along the way. Start open-ended and straightforward with something like, “I noticed you were struggling with factoring. How is that going?” Keeping the conversation ongoing will invite the student to seek help when they need it.

Notice effort and achievement

You should acknowledge both effort and achievement. Don’t forget to squeeze in a few observations like: “I noticed you have been putting a lot of work into this.” This can be the push your students need when things are hard for them. 

Use the sandwich technique

When you have to deliver some difficult feedback, this is a great trick– make it a sandwich. The technique is simple: start with something good, give your criticism, and end it positively. The sandwich technique is especially great for tough parent emails. 

Teach students to give feedback

Model and teach effective feedback techniques to your students. This will cultivate a growth mindset inside of your classroom. You will also start to see your students giving productive feedback to each other. 

Welcome feedback from students too

Communication is a two-way street. Allow your students to give feedback to you. Periodically check in with them about their thoughts on teaching style, assignments, and more. You will be surprised how constructive your students can be when you have modeled constructive feedback techniques. 

How can you use technology to give feedback?

TeacherMade makes it easy to use technology to give feedback to your students. Here’s how to get started with TeacherMade:

    1. Upload your file. (We accept these file formats.) The file you upload becomes the background of your new online worksheet.
    2. Add places for student responses.
    3. Add a key for auto-scoring.
    4. Send an assignment link to students.
    5. Use our self-grading feature to get instant data and leave personalized feedback for students who need it.

We do the heavy lifting with our auto-grading feature. Use this extra time to leave meaningful feedback for your students on their assignments. This type of hands-on coaching is where true learning comes. The best part? You do all of this digitally! You can leave powerful feedback in or out of the classroom.