The Power of Feedback


“feedback needs to provide information specifically relating to the task or process of learning that fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood (Hattie and Timperly, 2007., p 82.).”

One of the most under rated forms of communication between teacher and student is that of feedback. Many educators believe that feedback is the mark on an assignment or test, the check marks and ex’s that show a student what they got correct or incorrect. But this is not really feedback at all. Feedback, as explained by Hattie and Timperly (2007), is information that specifically relates to the gap in learning between what a student understands (including misconceptions) and what is aimed to be understood.

If I look no further into my students learning than the grade on an assessment I have a very limited view of their understanding. I may be looking at lucky guesses or a lack of understanding in terms of what the question asked. Talking to my students, having them demonstrate their knowledge in multiple ways ( that are comfortable for them) is the only true way I can identify their misconceptions, clearly see where the gaps are in their learning and satisfy myself that I have a clear understanding of what they have learned.


Hattie, H. & Timperly, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112

All images courtesy of the creative commons.

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