Innovative Feedback Approaches Project

Our teaching enhancement project involved ten teachers in the Faculty of Education, and four student co-researchers. We defined innovative feedback as feedback practices that challenged asymmetrical power relations between teachers and students, and transcended temporal and spatial constraints in traditional feedback practice. Four key recommendations arise from our work:

  1. Explain the benefits of feedback strategies to students
    Since most Chinese students believe that giving feedback is the responsibility of teachers, it is important to explain the benefits of peer feedback and self-assessment to students before the implementation of feedback strategies. Only if students understand how they can benefit from doing peer reviews and self-reviews can they assume a more active role in the feedback process.

  2. Choose appropriate technological tools to facilitate feedback communication
    Teachers are encouraged to select appropriate technological tools to facilitate feedback communication. Students might be more eager to participate in the feedback process if visual images and convenient means are used. Emojis, social media and blogs were used to engage students in making peer comments. Social media applications such as WhatsApp or WeChat allow students to communicate in flexible, face-saving ways. When implementing audio feedback, it is useful to require students to respond briefly to the feedback and state ongoing actions to close a feedback loop.

  3. Make productive use of assessment task design to encourage feedback uptake
    If assessment tasks are interlinked, students can see the point of reading the feedback on previous tasks to improve the quality of their subsequent assignment. This highlights the need for teachers to design assessment tasks skilfully so as to encourage feedback uptake.

  4. Develop student feedback literacy
    Effective feedback processes develop hand in hand with enhanced student feedback literacy. Some of the project strategies play a role in developing student feedback literacy: the involvement of students in peer feedback and the making of judgments; the focus on student uptake of feedback; and the involvement of student co-researchers in the project.

We would like to thank the University Teaching and Learning Quality Committee for generously funding our project.