Teacher feedback has always been part of learning since it provides a teacher-student relationship necessary for better subject understanding and effective learning. However, teachers and students view, and value this feedback from a different perspective and thus, it is vital for both parties to understand and accommodate the diversities that may exist. This paper discusses how both, students and teachers value feedback.
Feedback refers to comments regarding the evaluation of an individual’s effort on a particular given task. This feedback could be in the form of appreciation of the good work, key points for improvements, advice and weaknesses and strengths evaluation, among others. Feedback is an important link that lies between learning and teaching process. It is always delivered through means such as oral responses, grades, comments that are in written form, grades or notes. Teachers value feedback since they believe that it helps students get an insight of the subjects they are teaching as well as providing guidance on how to improve their learning. Furthermore, feedback provides the basis for assessment of the progress of the learning process through evaluation of the student levels of understanding. Students on the other side, value feedback since it provides encouragement, a platform for academic interaction and a guide towards achieving their success.
Teachers regard feedback as a tool which can increase engagement as well as performance on tasks (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). Feedbacks which are goal-oriented creates focus and motivation towards achieving the set targets. Teachers utilize every opportunity to interact with students through feedbacks, and also, in creating good relationships. Teachers, through feedbacks, can track the individual student’s performance and progress, and subsequently, offer the necessary personalized support that aids the students in attaining their targets. On the other hand, Spiller (2009) argues that teachers at some point do not value feedback at all. They argue that, in most cases, even after they have given out feedback on error correction, most of the students never improve or correct in their subsequent assignments or tasks. Teachers argue that students only concentrate on the marks they obtain, but they disregard the comments which are crucial in correcting their mistakes and improving their performance.
Also, teachers value feedback by creating opportunities for students to disclose their weaknesses or showcase their levels of understanding on particular topics through class discussions (Plank, Dixon & Ward, 2014). Tutors pose thoughtful questions which help students in critically analyzing the situations and consequently coming up with solutions. Also, teachers value feedback by conducting regular assessments and providing immediate support after the evaluation (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). The lecturer immediately offers definitions of complex terms, provide proper interpretations and explanations of key terms. Tutors demonstrate to their students on the expected responses to provide and how to present. After providing the necessary feedback, teachers follow up on the progress and level of understanding of individual students by providing a follow-up assessment.
Students, on the other hand, acknowledge feedback for some reasons which include that argument that, when they give feedback, teachers offer support on areas that cause confusions. Through active feedbacks, teachers can provide clarifications on certain misunderstandings or confusions that always lead to unnecessary failure on their part (Plank, Dixon & Ward, 2014). Most of the students get confused by minor issues, such as statements, theories or even formulas which may seem similar or complex to understand and apply in providing solutions. When a tutor steps in, students believe that they get more clarifications that will help them understand the concepts in question. Teachers also, better means and various ways of approaching the solution, this helps students to choose their own suitable approaches which makes learning simple and interesting.
Students value immediate feedbacks, such as instant error correction during new topic introduction which increases the rates of content acquisition, making teachers’ work simple in the subsequent teachings (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). Students are always happy when teachers reach out immediately to offer some corrections to the assessments. Spiller (2009), agrees on this, whereby she notes that students complain whenever there are any late corrections. When feedbacks are delayed, it becomes irrelevant to students, such that if similar questions were to be raised, then no improvements would be recorded. Also, the manner in which feedback is administered is crucial to students. According to Hattie (2007), negative feedback is a powerful tool which teachers should carefully use since it can be effective, and at the same time may be detrimental to students. Students prefer that negative feedback is given at a personal level, in this case, a student will be motivated and likely, positive results will be observed. Negative feedback on students with low self-efficacy will be probably detrimental since it forms a basis for demotivation and students may become demoralized. Positive feedback, on the other hand, brings motivation to students, which is evident in their desire to achieve more success than what they did previously.
To students, feedback acts as a guide and platform to achieving better results (Rowe, 2011). Feedback is a basis of deeper learning which helps the students in understanding the course materials and other concepts in the topics covered in the classroom. Feedback gives them insights on what needs to be done for one to record an improvement from the previous scores. It also evaluates their progress by citing their weaknesses, strengths and also their potentials regarding achievements. Students get proper guidance on how to handle the tasks such as standards or requirements needed to perform well on a particular topic or subject. Also, feedback provides a means of achieving active participation in the process of learning. Students get personal interaction with their lecturers. The mutual participations between students and teachers boosts learning since it creates better understanding through arguments and clarifications from the tutor.
hrough feedback, students together with their teachers build a mutual relationship which is beneficial to; students since it boost their social and academic development, and teachers as it helps them to plan on how to provide quality learning process. Feedback provides clarifications to students on particular tasks which cause misunderstandings. When providing feedback, teachers should consider giving them on time to enable students to trace their mistakes immediately, also, immediate response boosts understanding of the new knowledge acquired. When feedback delays, students find it irrelevant and shows laxity in revising what has already become “stale.” Providing lengthy or wordy feedback is not all that is required, but a relevant one is needed for students to receive and digest. Feedback is always a basis of success since it largely dictates the results of students. Quality, appropriate and timely feedback yields good results to students who are evident in the performance of the future assignments and examinations.
Therefore, feedback is important to both teachers and students since it complements, boosts and gives direction to teaching and learning process. Teachers can quickly assess the performance and progress of learning process and adjust accordingly. Students, on the other hand, gets an opportunity to obtain clarifications and necessary guidelines to follow to achieve excellence in their studies.
Coe, R., Aloisi, C., Higgins, S., & Major, L. E. (2014). What makes great teaching. Review of the underpinning research. Durham University: UK.
Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.
Plank, C., Dixon, H., & Ward, G. (2014). Student Voices about the Role Feedback Plays in the Enhancement of Their Learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(9), n9.
Spiller, D. (2009). Assessment: Feedback to promote student learning. Manuscript submitted for publication, The University of Waikato, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Rowe, A. (2011). The personal dimension in teaching: why students value feedback. International Journal of Educational Management, 25(4), 343-360.
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