Getting Students to Engage With Feedback

Effective feedback is crucial to student learning, but many students struggle to engage. Feedback can help students identify areas of strength and weakness, set goals, and improve their performance. However, students who are disengaged from feedback often miss out on these benefits. To help students engage with feedback, teachers and instructors can take the following steps:
• Provide timely feedback: Feedback delivered promptly is more likely to be taken seriously by students. In addition, timeliness allows students to address areas of concern while the information is still fresh in their minds.

• Make feedback specific: Specific and actionable feedback is more likely to be meaningful and effective. Rather than providing vague or general comments, teachers should focus on specific areas for improvement and offer concrete suggestions for making progress.

• Encourage student reflection: Encouraging students to reflect on their performance can help them understand the value of feedback and make connections between feedback and their learning process. Teachers can use reflective writing assignments, peer review, or self-assessment activities to help students process feedback.

• Foster a positive feedback culture: A positive feedback culture can help students feel more confident about seeking and engaging with feedback. Teachers can create an environment where students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts; feedback is valuable for growth and improvement.

• Use various feedback methods: Students may respond differently to different types of feedback. Therefore, teachers can use a variety of methods, such as written feedback, oral feedback, or visual aids, to help students engage with feedback in a way that is meaningful and effective for them.

• Emphasize the importance of feedback: It can help students understand why it is valuable and how it can support their learning. Teachers can use examples from their experiences and other students or professionals to illustrate the benefits of engaging with feedback.

• Be approachable: Teachers who are approachable and responsive to student’s needs are more likely to foster a positive relationship with students, which can encourage students to engage with feedback. Teachers can be available for one-on-one conversations or office hours or participate in online forums to foster this relationship.

Helping students engage with feedback requires a combination of specific, actionable feedback, reflection, a positive feedback culture, and approachable teachers. By providing students with the right tools and support, teachers can help students understand the value of feedback and use it to improve their learning and performance.

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