How can I help students engage with feedback?

How can I set it up?

Engagement with feedback is more effective when it is triangulated between teacher feedback, peer feedback and self-evaluation.


The DEFT project provides some resources on how to facilitate student engagement with feedback though a series of workshops, which can be adapted to a series of short activities to take place in lectures or seminars.

Some ideas include:

  • Action plans and feedforward documents (on or offline)
  • Assessment timelines for students to plan their own time management
  • Self-assessment templates (on or offline)
  • Reflective journals/blogs
  • Managing emotions and expectations


Other ideas:

  • Using exemplars of previous students’ work to help students apply the criteria (see this resource)
  • Encouraging students to set their own tutorial agendas during face to face feedback situations: for example, students identify 3 things they want to discuss based on their feedback and then write up a record of the meeting with action points.
  • Peer evaluation activities (see this resource)



Think about the optimal times to implement strategies. Flagging up the need to engage with feedback at the beginning of the course is important, but should be part of a continuous process of activities and signposting to resources throughout a course.

The examples above could be fed into a Personal Tutoring plan or KIP. For more ideas, see KCL’s Student and Education Directorate’s new initiative on Student PDR project.

The optimal time to explicitly talk through using and responding to feedback would be after an assessment event and prior to feedback (and grades) being released.



How will I address potential challenges?

Do I need to make any modifications for accessibility/inclusivity? Can I build these into the design?

Resources should be accessible to those who use screen readers. As these tools can be built into a course, it is part of the inclusive curriculum design model where access and participation is widened to the benefit of all students (May and Bridger, 2010).


Do I need to make any modifications for large cohort sizes?

If using generic feedback for large classes on formative assessment,  students can be encouraged to reflect on which aspects refer to them.

Using reflective blogging (see the case study from IoPPN) or setting up online peer discussion fora on KEATS can facilitate students’ discussion of feedback and shared interpretations. Be careful to explain your rationale for this though, otherwise students may assume you are not doing your job properly. Joining in the discussions with a few posts yourself can help to clarify misunderstandings.


How will I introduce it to the students?

Research has shown that students are unlikely to respond to initiatives such as this if they are not scaffolded and ‘nudged’ to do so (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008). Although clear signposting to KEATS resources such as personal development plans, feedforward documents and advice on how to use feedback should be made clear, such initiatives are more successful when part of a Personal Tutoring plan, or discussed explicitly in lectures and seminars with students.

The optimal time to talk through using and responding to feedback would be after an assessment event and prior to feedback (and grades) being released.