How to Use Feedback in the Classroom


Instant feedback is any feedback that happens during a lesson rather than after a lesson or exam has been completed. There are two primary types of instant feedback: feedback from learners to instructors and feedback from instructors to learners. The goal is to make impromptu changes during the lesson before it is too late.


  • Instructors can adjust their teaching tactics at the moment to ensure the lesson is a success.
  • Learners can adjust the ways they are going about completing a task to ensure it is successful.


  • In large groups, one-to-one feedback can be difficult.
  • Instructors must be able to think on their feet to make instant adjustments.


  1. Explicit correction: The instructor points out what was wrong and provides the learner with the correct version. This strategy does not leave room for peer or self-correction.
  2. Elicitation: The instructor asks the student for reformulation or clarification. For instance: “What do you mean?” or “Could you please explain that again?”
  3. Metalinguistic clues: The instructor helps the student to spot the mistake by supplying extra information or asking questions related to the student’s answer.
  4. Repetition: The instructor corrects by using intonation to show where the mistake is.
  5. Positive feedback: Affirming comments about past behavior; focuses on behavior that was successful and must be continued.
  6. Positive feed-forward: Affirming comments about future behavior; focused on behavior that will improve performance in the future.
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