Importance of Feedback For Students

October 22, 2014 Kristen Hicks

You want to equip your students with everything they need to succeed. That doesn’t mean making things too easy; it just means making sure they have the resources needed to overcome difficult learning hurdles in higher education.

Assessment provides a myriad of benefits for faculty and schools. In fact, if used properly, it can be one of the most valuable tools in your educational toolkit for helping students fulfill their academic potential.

Why Assessment Matters

The grading systems used by most schools throughout the world wouldn’t exist if educators hadn’t realized long ago the value of assessment. If you can’t track how well students are doing and provide them with feedback regarding their performances, how will they ever know if they need to improve?

A student gains some insight after receiving an 80 on a test or a C at the end of the semester, but the information from those grades is limited in many respects. With the technology available to educators today, you can do better.

How It Should Work

Thorough feedback provides students with valuable information. That seems pretty obvious, yet many institutions of higher education still don’t provide students with a deeper level of feedback.

Imagine this: instead of percentages scrawled across the tops of pages, your students get detailed reports regarding which subject areas, skills, question types, and competency areas they perform well in and which they fail to grasp. Now they don’t just know whether their performances on a particular test were acceptable; they know exactly what they did OK on, what they did great on, and what they need to work on the most.

Now let’s take it one step further. Not only do your students get this information after a test, they get it regularly throughout the semester. Status reports that are delivered on a regular basis and that give students specific, comprehensive insights into how they’re doing change the educational experience in positive ways. In fact, research supports the idea that frequent, immediate feedback is more beneficial to students than occasional feedback.

How to Provide Students with Valuable Feedback

If you already have ExamSoft, the process of providing valuable feedback to students can be pretty simple. All you need to do is the following:

• Put each of your assignments into the ExamSoft system.
• Tag each question or assignment with the relevant subject areas, competencies, learning outcomes, etc., that you know will be valuable to track.
• Grade those assignments.
• Have ExamSoft send your students the reports.

Providing students with valuable feedback does involve some work, of course, but since it empowers them to take more control over their academic careers so they can be more successful, it’s worth it, right?

Note: If you don’t have ExamSoft already, there are a few extra steps involved in the process. You can start by setting up an introductory tour of the product.


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