Understanding assessment feedback

This resource explains feedback and overviews how to use feedback to improve your learning.

What is feedback?

Feedback refers to the constructive evaluation comments on an assessment task. Feedback is a powerful tool that can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, direct your attention to areas that require improvement, improve your quality of learning, and develop interpersonal skills, such as communication and critical analysis.

Types of feedback you may receive at UOW include:

  • Verbal feedback: Feedback is given verbally by teacher or peers
  • Written feedback: Feedback that is given in writing alongside with your marks after your teacher has evaluated your work. This may either be in the form of written comments or scaled on an assessment rubric.
  • Marks or grades: You will receive a mark for individual assessment tasks and an overall mark for each subject – this is a form of feedback too.

Where can I find my feedback?

When you receive marks for assessment tasks, you usually will receive written feedback.

If it is a hard-copy assignment, generally your feedback will be written by hand by the marker throughout the document. They may also use the marking rubric to indicate how well you’ve performed in each area.

If it is a digital assignment submitted through Moodle, your tutor or Subject Coordinator may upload a document containing your feedback, or a copy of your assignment with the feedback written at the end.

If you can’t find your feedback, contact your Subject Coordinator or tutor. They may also choose to provide it verbally to you.

Understanding and using feedback

To get the most out of feedback, you should:

  • Approach feedback with a positive mind. Receiving feedback can be hard, especially if you feel you haven’t done well. Try to remember that feedback is a tool for you to improve your learning.
  • Don’t just focus on the negatives. It can be easy to overlook positive feedback in favour for focusing on the negatives. Positive feedback is just as useful as negative, so make sure you use it to your advantage.
  • Critically reflect on the feedback you receive. Ask yourself if you agree with the feedback. Take a look at your assessment and try to understand what the marker is saying. How could you have done better? Did you prepare enough before the assessment? Where are your strengths and weaknesses? What did the marker identify that you did well?
  • Identify what you have done well, and what area(s) needed improvement. Think about how you can use it to improve for your next assessment task.
  • Ask for clarification from your subject coordinator or peers. If you aren’t sure what you need to improve on, or if you don’t agree with the feedback, talk to your tutor or Subject Coordinator. It may also be useful to reflect on your feedback with your peers.
  • Document the feedback you receive. Feedback is a way for you to improve in the future – you don’t want to forget it! Keep track of the feedback you receive in a word document that you can return to when completing your next assessment task.

Giving feedback

While at university, you will be asked formally (i.e., as a part of an assessment task) or informally (i.e., by your peers or friends) to give feedback on others’ works.

Giving effective and constructive feedback can be challenging and sometimes uncomfortable. Our Peer-Assessment and Self-Evaluation resource outlines useful ways to frame and deliver feedback to your peers.

Further resources