Assessment & Evaluation: Effective Feedback


This guide outlines strategies for leveraging how to give and structure feedback to foster student growth. It introduces practices that instructors and peers can implement that encourages feedback beyond grades.



Inclusive Strategies

  • Involve students in rubric construction: Promotes a sense of ownership among students. Consider facilitating a discussion on the purpose of each criterion and how it relates to the learning objectives.
  • Use a consistent rubric: Consistency is key in ensuring fair and objective assessments. For peer review assignments, ask reviewers to engage with the same rubric.
  • Provide clear instructions and expectations: Consider providing a past or mock example containing your or peer review feedback. This may help demystify your expectations of the “do’s and don’ts”.

Technology to Support Peer Review

  • Google Documents for collaboration: This approach supports peer review, while also giving the option for privacy and security. You can introduce guidelines on how to anonymize documents for peer review to prevent bias too.
  • Structure Peer Review via Google Sheets: Include this information and structure.
    • Timeline of when reviews should be started and completed.
    • Who is reviewing who?
    • A blank space for the students’ Google Document links. 
      • Ask students to update their Google Document share settings and place its link inside the Google Sheet column labeled “Document link”.

Additional Recommendations

  • Feedback loops: Encourage a feedback loop where students can reflect on the peer feedback.
  • Peer review training: Offer a short in-class session on how to give effective feedback. This could include understanding bias, maintaining a constructive tone, and focusing on the rubric.
  • Evaluation of peer review process: After the peer review process, collect survey and/or spoken feedback from students on how it went and what could be improved.
  • Enhance feedback strategies (Wiggins, 2012):
    • Goal-referenced: Information that helps the receiver know if they are on track towards their stated goals and criteria.
      • Provide past or mock examples and reasoning that align with what isn’t and what is working in relation to the goal or criteria.
    • Tangible and transparent: Clear and simple feedback.
      • Use direct language and avoid jargon. For instance, instead of saying, “unclear”, consider, “use more specific examples with dates to support your xyz argument to help your reader grasp when this situation happened”.
    • Actionable: Specific details about your observations.
      • Identify and suggest concrete actions, like “increase the number of references in the literature review to strengthen your argument”.
    • User-friendly: Simple, non-technical language to avoid overwhelming the receiver.
      • Break down complex feedback into smaller pieces. For example, point out specific sections instead of critiquing the overall coherence of a paper.
    • Timely: Offer feedback shortly after an action to keep the learning fresh.
      • Consider drafts with feedback provided within around a week.
      • Harness peer review to purposefully speedup time devoted for review.
    • Ongoing: Check in with receivers multiple times to promote application of feedback.
      • Schedule check-ins. 
      • Encourage draft or scaffolding assignment submissions for formative feedback aligned toward final assessment.
    • Consistent: Ensure clarity in expectations across all assignments:
      • Proactively share a detailed rubric for each assignment type.
      •  Consider a short session or office hours to explain the rubric and answer questions to students.



Grant, W. (2012).Seven keys to effective feedback.  Retrieved from

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