Journal of Educators Online study of online graduate students looking at what should be included in effective feedback and how should effective feedback be provided to students found five themes of effective instructor feedback:

Themes of Effective Instructor Feedback

Theme

Summary

Student Involvement and Individuation Effective feedback is a mutual process involving both student and instructor.

  • Feedback should include personalized messages & examples that reflect the student’s contributions
  • Feedback should be private
Being Positively Constructive Effective feedback provides constructive guidance that builds confidence.

  • Feedback should be positive, encouraging & friendly
  • Feedback should provide suggestions for improvement
Gentle Guidance Effective feedback guides through explicit expectations and ongoing coaching.

  • Feedback should create structure & guidance
  • Feedback should provide clear ground rules & state expectations
Timeliness Timelines for effective feedback are mutually established and met.

  • Feedback should be prompt
  • Instructor should set expectations on time frame for feedback & announce if time frame will not be met
Future Orientation Effective feedback is applicable to future situations.

  • Feedback should guide students on how to improve for future class activities