3.0 Use of feedback in Higher Education.6
3.1Making feedback count
3.2 Asking students to provide feedback
3.3 Giving students time to absorb the new ideas
4.0 Benefits of use of feedback in Higher Education..7
4.1Feedback is a guide towards good results
4.2 Feedback as encouragement
4.3 Feedback as a means of participation and interaction in the learning process
4.4 Feedback as a regulator and a means of reducing anxiety
4.5 Feedback as a regulator and a means of reducing anxiety
4.6 Feedback as a caring expression
4.7 Feedback as a respect expression
5.0 Challenges of use of feedback in Higher Education.9
5.1 Bad attitudes
5.2 Lack of seriousness in implementing this strategy
5.3 Bad teachers- students’ relationships
Over the previous few years, feedback has essentially been among the most discussed topics in higher education sectors of many countries. Many wonder why the quality of assessment feedback is considered that vital in higher education. In fact, feedback is an essential element of student learning experience in the higher education learning institutions such as universities. The current emphasis on the student- centered research is crucial in informing the teachers the differences between their perceptions and that of students about what good teaching means and the challenges that the students face in their everyday learning. This report discusses the background information about feedback, the student feedback use in higher education, outlines various potential benefits as well as the challenges, which are associated with this teaching strategy.
Feedback is essentially a research-based strategy, which instructors and students can put into practice to advance their success. Providing the right type of feedback to the university students can make an important difference in their school achievements. Two crucial considerations exist. For one, feedback, which improves student learning is responsive to the specific aspects of the work of students, such as homework or test answers, and offers specific in addition to related suggestions. Actually, there needs to exist a strong association between the students’ answer and the teacher comment and this ought to be instructive (Stevens and Levi, 2005, 67). This feedback type extends a good opportunity to teach through alleviating misunderstanding as well as reinforcing the student learning.
The other fundamental consideration is that feedback should be timely. A timely feedback ensures that the student get a better opportunity to correct the mistakes he/she had made in the assignment. Sambell 2013 agrees that the shorter the time the students get feedback after homework or test assignment, the better the opportunity they get for learning and achieving better grades. It is thus important for teachers to ensure that they give their students feedback as soon as possible after submission of test or homework assignments.
Various researchers have conducted studies that address the issue of student’s feedback. Many studies suggest that feedback is among the most significant activities, which educators can engage in to increase student achievements. They have stressed the importance of corrective feedback in higher learning institutions. The feedback that normally involves students getting either informal or formal feedback on their performances of a number of assignments help in improving their grades. Stevens and Levi 2005, suggest that corrective feedback that is, feedback that explains where as well as why the students have made mistakes, significantly increases learning among the students.
Most of literature concerned with both effectiveness and value of feedback has focused on feedback timing, especially the advantages of the quick turnaround times. There is a need for university teachers and managers to give additional attention to the emotional and personal significance of feedback (Rowe, 2011, 345). The knowledge about how the emotions contribute to the process of learning is limited despite learning being an inherently emotional business. This means that emotion is not given enough attention by the educators in the modern higher institutions of learning especially in the universities.
Brookhart 2008, suggests that effective learning comes from the students who offer their individual feedback and monitor their schoolwork against a certain established criteria. Rubrics provide the students with supportive criteria for success and this makes the desired learning outcomes become clearer to them. In fact, criterion-referenced feedback offers the right type of guidance crucial in improving the understanding of students.
- Use of feedback in Higher Education
In the higher institutions of learning and especially universities, feedback has been proved to have the most important impact on the student learning as well as the achievement on their learning programs. This is the reason why many higher institutions of learning have begun to focus more on this strategy, since many believe that it comes with many advantages. The research suggests best practices that educators need to put into practice in providing feedback. Universities have extensively used and continue to use these suggestions in implementing this imperative strategy.
- Making feedback count
According to the research, the best feedback is corrective feedback. Many higher learning institutions make feedback count by using this kind of feedback as it help the students to identify their errors and study how to correct these errors through providing informative and explicit feedback when returning their work.
- Asking students to provide feedback
This is the other important suggestion by various researches. In the higher institutions of learning, teachers encourage the students to monitor as well as offer feedback to their fellow students (Doyle, 2008, 89). This is advantageous since the students learn from one another.
- Giving students time to absorb the new ideas
- Benefits of use of feedback in Higher Education
The merits of using feedback in higher education cannot be underestimated. Feedback is central to the student learning in higher education and especially at the university. According to Rowe 2013, the benefits of feedback at university include:
- Feedback is a guide towards good results
One of the benefits of feedback in higher education is that it guides the students towards achieving better grades in schools. Feedback provides the right path towards the students’ success at university. It offers a better opportunity for the students to interact individually with their lectures; this presents a better opportunity for them to correct their errors, which eventually leads to better grades (Rowe 2013, 349).
- Feedback as encouragement
Many students in their academic life become upset or discouraged. The importance of feedback is that it encourages them and gives them hope. Feedback provides better opportunities where the students discuss their fears with their teachers (Rowe 2013, 349). The teachers therefore encourage them.
- Feedback as a means of participation and interaction in the learning process
Learning process requires active and full participation of both teachers and students. The advantage of feedback is that it provides a means through why both the instructors and students participate and interact in the learning process. This eventually improves the grades of the students.
- Feedback as a tool of learning
Feedback help the student get a better understanding of the course material. The students get clarifications on any gaps in the knowledge regarding the subject. In addition, it is a measure of students’ progress as well as their subject understanding. Consequently, feedback is a better tool of learning at university (Rowe 2013, 350).
- Feedback as a regulator and a means of reducing anxiety
Many students in higher learning institutions face anxiety in their academic life. Feedback therefore helps them to reduce the anxiety by re-motivating them and encourages them to improve their studies for better grades.
- Feedback as a caring expression
- Feedback as a respect expression
The importance of feedback is that it is a respect expression. Good feedback shows the respect for the students’ opinions. Therefore, the feedback that teachers provide to their students should show adequate respect.
- Challenges of use of feedback in Higher Education
There are various challenges of use of feedback in higher institutions of learning, especially at universities.
- Bad attitudes
Bad attitudes among the tutors present the challenge of using feedback at universities. This makes the teachers become uncaring. For the feedback to be good and caring, the teacher must show be caring. Therefore, bad attitudes makes the strategy less effective.
- Lack of seriousness in implementing this strategy
The full implementation of feedback strategy demands seriousness in both the teachers and the students. A number of students do not see the usefulness of feedback in their learning (Brookhart 2008, 7). This therefore hinders the implementation of this vital strategy in their learning.
- Bad teachers- students relationships
The bad relationships between the teachers and students present a challenge to the implementation of this strategy in a number of learning institutions. The strategy requires good relationship between the two.
There is a great need for all the learning institutions to adopt feedback in their learning process due to various benefits that this strategy come with. It offers the opportunity for the teachers and students to interact and participate actively in the learning process. Students should also be given an opportunity to provide and get feedback from their fellow students, as this will help them learn from one another. Additionally, There is a need for the university teachers and managers to give additional attention to the emotional and personal significance of feedback.
Rowe, A. (2011). "The personal dimension in teaching: why students value feedback". International Journal of Educational Management, 25(4), 343-360. doi:10.1108/09513541111136630
Doyle, T. (2008). Helping students learn in a learner-centered environment: A guide to facilitating learning in higher education. Sterling, Va: Stylus Pub.
Sambell, K., McDowell, L., & Montgomery, C. (2013). Assessment for learning in higher education. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon [England: Routledge.
Brookhart, S. M. (2008). How to give effective feedback to your students. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Stevens, D. D., & Levi, A. (2005). Introduction to rubrics: An assessment tool to save grading time, convey effective feedback, and promote student learning. Sterling, Va: Stylus Pub.