The Importance of Feedback in Teaching

Feedback is similar to the foundation of a house, the stronger it is, the more efficient it proves to be in time. Learners and teachers use feedback to a certain extent, sometimes even without  realising it. All parties involved in the educational process should regard feedback as a key tool on the way to delivering and acquiring information. There is much to teaching beyond grading. There is feedback that leads to questions and questions to knowledge. Hence, all teachers can enhance a better learning product to their students if they allow feedback become one of the main ingredients of a successful recipe called teaching.  

Feedback can act as a powerful strategy if utililised correctly as it has widely been identified as a vital medium for improving learning and performance. Hattie and Timpereley (2007) noted that ” feedback has no effect in a vacuum, to be powerful in its effect, there must be a learning context to which feedback is assessed”. It should be perceived as being one of the golden rules to be complied with so that the process of teaching and learning could be carried out properly and accurately. Feedback can be either an incentive  or a drawback, the actions derived from it should be taken knowingly and in due time. This means information provided by the agent (e.g. teacher, peer, parent) reagrding aspects of one’s performance or understanding, with „direct, useable insights into current performance, based on tangible differences between current performance and hoped for performance” (Wiggins 1993). It is the bridge between teaching and learning that should be always consolidated and taken care of. In language teaching, feedback from tecahers to students is one of the most important ongoing sources of learning in the classroom.

Feedback is the outcome of our assessment practices; it is the ongoing information provided to students  to guide their learning. This is called formative information: it informs  students and supports their learning, but it also informs teachers regarding their teaching.

The feedback provided to students also helps teachers shape their next steps in class – the activities they choose. Feedback in language testing is given by the key stakeholders (i.e., test-takers and others)who respond to their experienceof a test as part of test validation and evaluation. Feedback that helps promote assessment for learning is diagnostic in nature as it informs students of their strengths and weaknesses. It is important, therefore, that teachers identify students’ major strengths and the most critical areas that should be dealt with.  These could be related to the „feed up” stage, during which learning targets and success criteria for the respective task are set up.

Teachers should aim to provide feedback to each learner that praises task focused aspects of their work, but also contains targets about how to improve their learning. It is really important to bear in mind the following quotation  and decode its meaning beyond the external appearance of words: „learners need endless feedback more than they need endless teaching”- Grant Wiggins.


prof. Claudia Marcu

Liceul Tehnologic Nr. 1, Fundulea (Călărași) , România
Profil iTeach:

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