Feedback in Practice

It’s a common scenario, and it’s a teacher’s nightmare. Class is coming to an end, and you return assignments to your students. You’ve put real time into this undertaking and, in the frantic moments before class ends, your students get their assignments back from you, quickly scan for their grade, and then stuff the assignment in their backpacks. Walking out of class, they turn either to their phones or to comparative conversations: “What did you get?” A few weeks later, on their next assignment, many of them make the same mistakes that you so laboriously corrected the first time around.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Giving feedback is one of the most important things we do as educators. Yet teachers rarely receive explicit, evidence-based guidance in how to do so.

This document was created to help fill that gap. We hope that this resource will support teachers – as well as those who mentor them – by synthesizing academic research around feedback and offering actionable steps to help ensure that the time you spend giving feedback impacts student learning deeply.

Feedback in Practice was developed by Andy Housiaux, Tang Institute director, and Bowman Dickson, instructor in mathematics at St. Albans School.