Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Assessment Table of Contents/Assessment Chapter 1: Feedback/Student Soapbox

Assessment Chapter 1 Student Soap Box

Briefly summarize the feedback you received on a recent writing assignment. Based on what you have heard in class and read in the two articles in this chapter, decide if this feedback was effective or ineffective. Justify your decision. Describe the feedback you would have liked to have received on the assignment.

Add your response below under the appropriate heading ("Effective Feedback Examples" or "Ineffective Feedback Examples"). Extra credit will be awarded to multimedia responses. Don't forget to sign your response with four tildes.

Ineffective Feedback ExamplesEdit

A few years ago, while I was studying to earn a masters degree, I took a course on Christian ethics. We had several essay assignments. I spent many hours working on each eassy. I recall spending about a full week on one them—researching, etc., which was to be a 6 page paper. For each of the essays, I received back, the feedback included no more than a short phrase, or at most, a sentce. One paper received the phrase: "Good start, but work on tightening the logic of your exposition;" and another paper received the phrase, "This is pretty good." Disappointed at one of my grades, I asked the TA if I could see an example of a paper by someone who earned an A. I was given such a paper, and the only piece of feedback on this paper(besides the grade) was the phrase "This is just wonderful." It would have been helpful to my own learning if the evaluator had provided a rubric for grading and gave more insights on the mistakes and/or weaknesses of the paper, as well as how I could have improved the paper. Mbrowder (talk) 13:38, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Last semester at ODU I took an English class where we did peer editing. The problem was the class was for media writing which none of us knew how to do so we edited each others papers not knowing what we were doing. The instructor also insisted that we not repeat words which I can understand but I wrote an article on recycling and she said I used the word recycling too much. How many different ways can you say recycling and still keep the same meaning? It was a thousand word article. I was not the only one with this issue. One paper I edited used the word recruit too many times but his paper was about his experience in boot camp. He was a recruit not yet a soldier. Basically none of us knew what to expect and were given awful grades on assignments where the blind was grading the blind.Jnemo001 (talk) 02:44, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I took an English class at TCC where all the papers were checked by the students before the instructor graded it. It made it easier for her I'm sure, and it forced us to read each others work. Sometimes the students gave a quick review and graded easily, but in the long run when the other classmates were easy on you, it worked against you because the teacher was going to review your work anyway! One drawback too was I bet not a lot of the students looked at what the instructor sent back, and she did a lot of hard work digitally highlighting and marking the work. Ldomm002 (talk) 00:49, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

In one of my philosophy classes, I received feedback that i'm not sure if it was effective or ineffective. The paper came back merely saying "B". On one hand, he did not tell me what I did good, or what I need to do to improve. On the other hand, I knew that it was what I thought of my paper that mattered. Rebecca.hechler (talk) 04:40, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Throughout my college and high school careers, I have had a wide range of feedback towards my papers. The most ineffective, however, had to be a paper I wrote my freshman year of college in a Music Literature class. This paper was supposed to be a response to a concert which we were assigned to attend. The professor supplied us with a sample essay and a rubric for which to make notes on during the concert. I followed the rubric as closely as I could, and expected to receive a high grade. I was amazed to find that my professor did not respond well to my paper at all. When I confronted her about it, she simply stated that I did not supply enough opinions, information and support to qualify for a high grade. I was furious, because though I did exactly what she asked of me, I still did not receive a grade which was up to my standards. Abeck017 (talk) 02:53, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I feel like I have always struggled with writing papers. In high school as well as college I never received what I would call a good grade on a paper....above a C. The most frustrating thing was I never really understood what all the read marks meant and never remember getting any specific feedback. I believe that a students success and progress really depends on proper feedback. Effective feedback that you can understand and keep in mind for the next assignment.Aferg006 (talk) 04:43, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Assignments I have received in the past three years have been very frustrating. I believe in some cases professors give back such little feedback because they do not want students to possibly question them as to why they were counted off for certain things. I had one professor that if there was any question asked why this was marked wrong or why a grade does not add up she would immediately become defensive. It was unbelievable and quite frustrating. I understand where both articles we read discuss the importance of objective and positive reinforcing comments on every assignment. It does not take a lot of time to sit down and write a few sentences to a student on their assignment. I was not one of the students that wanted clarification on "good job!" but I did want clerification when something was marked wrong. If there was not a comment or some reasoning behind deducting points I would always meet with the professor and discuss it. I also believe red pens have got to go. Marking everything with red pens, I believe, is such a psychological downer. I know there are many theories behind this. I have even read pieces on getting rid of X's on wrong answers. I know there are many thoughts out there but as an educator we need to look at what is best for the students and what will bring them the most help. Sston008 (talk) 17:08, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I recently graduated this Spring 2009 semester and one of my last courses provided me with some ineffective feedback on one of my papers. I had written a paper on Child Abuse and Neglect and the only comment that was provided on the reference page was good job. Considering that throughout the papers some red marks were made regarding grammatical and mechanical errors, the only written feedback I received was at the end of the paper with "good job". I felt that although I received a good grade on the paper, it was a ten page research paper and I felt that simply writing good luck was not sufficient enough of feedback. I believe that if my professor had gone through and told me what parts of my paper were a good job and what parts were not, that I would be able to know and replicate the good parts in future papers. However, now I am not sure if the whole paper was good, or if overall my paper was good despite certain areas that need improvement. I have had this happen multiple times with teachers in the past and believe that in order for students to have a goal to ascribe to and understand their current level of work, professors need to provide students with more detailed feedback including indication of what their current level of work is, and what they need to do to reach that desired level of work that the professor is looking for. Rburt005 (talk) 17:30, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I have taken the majority of my college classes on-line. Most of them have been strictly web driven with the exception of a couple of video streaming classes. While I treat these classes just as I would treat a traditional seated class, some of my professors have been less than forthcoming with useful feedback on writing assignments. One of my courses required that I write four essays which were due at various points in the semester. I always try to complete my assignments in a timely manner. What I always noticed was that as soon as an essay was submitted (often early), it was graded and returned almost immediately, often with a 100 or 10/10. The feedback that was given (on Bb) was very generic and usually consisted of two words ...good job. I consider myself a good writer but I am far from perfect. When the marked copy was returned to me, it was covered with marks and sometimes teacher comments. I guess I don't understand how one can go from good job to a bloody paper and still get 10/10. What could I have done to make my essay better? For that fact, did it even matter? Acrow005 (talk) 20:07, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I recently took a course that required many ambiguous writing assignments. They weren't labeled as either formal research papers or simple informal, opinion papers. They were ambiguous! I have spent my days writing neverending term papers and also stories and poetry for creative writing courses. I felt as if I had a solid understanding of the writing process, but feedback to these assignments made me believe otherwise. I was left questioning my abilities. Even worse, my inabilities were made an example of in class. How embarrassing. I had given these assignments a valuable college effort and apparently, I did not make the cut. I chuckle because I journal a lot and have never truly doubted my capabilities. I was told I have a stream of consciousness problem? (I think that's what it was called?) I think that's what it's called when an instructor doesn't exactly agree with my style, or provide solutions, especially since I received an "A" in the class. Abitt002 (talk) 02:49, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I have received positive feedback, as well as negative feedback in my college courses...funny how the negative feedback seems to be remembered more. The first instance was in a History class. We were discussing ancient history. I wrote a paper with some reference to religion during the time period. The grade I received was a big F at the top and a note beside it that simply said "There is no God". I am assuming the professor was an atheist, although I did not get a chance to speak with him about his reasoning. The second instance was during my conventional in-class time in a English 102 course. The class spent a few weeks discussing and writing poetry. Note: I have spent many years writing poetry, have won awards, and have been published...not that I think I am one of the great poets like Frost or Yeats, etc...however, it was a nice feeling to have people relate too and understand my writing. I wrote a poem for my assignment that came from the heart (or so I thought); however, my professor returned my paper stating that it was "literary will never make it as a writer...this is college, not kindergarten..." basically, she was telling me that I should not give up my day job. I went to her office to speak with her about the poem and how I could correct my mistakes. She informed me that I should give up now because she did not have time for this nonsense...needless to say, I left in tears and dropped her class. In both of these instances, the professor's were negative to the point of being mean (especially, the last one). Instead, it would have been better if they could have stated exactly why they did not like or agree with my papers. If a paper has a lot of marks on it, but does not have any side notes...the student is not going to understand why the marks are there, i.e. is the word spelled wrong; wrong choice; not descriptive, etc. No one likes to receive a bad grade, but having a bad grade without any feedback is even worse.Scarlett1 (talk) 05:25, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

This past semester a big portion of my grade in an art history class was a research paper. I spent about half the semester working on the paper and felt that I had done a good job. When I got the paper back there were no corrections written anywhere on the paper. The last page simply said 95 A+ good job. Now as overjoyed as I was to receive an A+, I know I did not have a perfect paper and wish I had been given at least a small amount of feedback regarding areas I could have improved on! Hcogg001 (talk) 00:08, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I recently wrote a paper for a Special Education class on the effects of labeling. Labeling is the system that educators use to define what special needs students may have. This was an 8-10 page paper, and when I received it back I received an "A". However, my teacher commented that I should have "elaborated" more, and this was the only comment I received. I was both surprised and confused by this comment, as I did not know where in this long paper I could have elaborated. If my teacher had told me that I should have elaborated and provided further examples on page 7, paragraph 4, I would have been able to go back to the specific section of the paper. I could then review the section and consider suggestions for improvement. But because of this broad statement, I was unsure of where to make improvements. In the future, I hope to receive more specific feedback. Afett001 (talk) 21:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Rubrics are something that are a fairly new concept for me. I don't remember actually hearing the term rubric till just this past year. Going through my educational career I always wondered how papers were graded. Teachers/Professors always seemed to tell us what they were looking for, but it seemed to be a totally subjective evaluation on their part. I have never been a strong writer in any subject. When I did write in my degree programs, feedback was always very vague. To the point where I was wondering if the professors actually read the paper. I was always tempted to put in some obvious (as opposed to my unintended) mistakes to see if they were caught. Grammar was something that was usually caught, but thought formation and flow of a paper was something that was rarely critiqued. I am pleased to be teaching in a school division that relies heavily on the rubrics for their courses. My department goes as far as to require the student to include the rubric on their paper/project when it is turned in. I try hard to make sure I provide quality feedback to my students so they do not feel the same way. Jtmitchem (talk) 14:31, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I will never forget my last semester of college. I done an internship in a pharmacy that summer and that fall I had to write six different papers of varying lengths to finish the class. I had some hard classes that semester but I turned major hours getting these papers done. After I finished them and turned them into the professor I felt like they were not up to par. I had citied all my work and have several sources for each paper, but I still didn't feel good about them. Some weeks later I received my papers from my professor via mail. When I started going through them, all I noticed was a red check mark at the top corner of each page. At the very end of the last paper was a short response from the professor....."Good work. Have a nice summer. Dr.R." I felt like he didn't even read them which hurt because I put so much work in them and I knew that they weren't that great. Why did I even waste my time? Oh yea, I forgot to tell you it was the dead of winter when I received them (nice summer huh?)Hcomb003 (talk) 16:42, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Writing for me is quite difficult. It may take the average person 10–15 minutes to write a response, yet I continually go back to change and manipulate the material. I was the person in high school that had five drafts before the final result. Needless to say I'm required to put a lot of time into my writing to get the grades I strive for. I believe I'm this way because I've had little effective feedback from paper's in the past, even the one's I did horribly on. More recently I wrote a paper that I thought was written quite well...the professor thought otherwise. He marked it with the red pen, told me I needed to change some things, and improve my organization. I'm aware that professor's at this level expect you to know how to write. However, would it be that hard if they saw a continual pattern in my writing to offer tips or suggestions? Granted, I know it's my responsibility to keep up to par, but I can only teach myself so much. How many times is he gonna write the same comments with that red pen before he decides to offer whatever knowledge he might have to make my life easier. I wish he would've addressed the problem and offered some useful tips that he's experienced in organizing a paper. If every professor gave me a gem from their educational treasure box I think I'd be in a lot better shape.Rpaige (talk) 18:05, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I have always thought that writing was one of my strong suits, so I usually have done well on writing assignments. I have, however, had assignments in my long and drawn out college career, that I have received great grades on but no feedback was given on how to improve. This lead me to believe that I could attain an A on a paper but there was no feedback on what I could do to keep it there! I know this could be construed as whining and I hope that no one looks at me like that, but feedback is a way for all of us to improve ourselves. I am not an English major, I enjoy writing and have done well so far, but I am sure that there is room for improvement for everyone. Even if a person gets a good grade, please let them know what they did right and be sure to point out the faults. Feedback is important for both good and bad graded assignments! Jnewh001 (talk) 19:42, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I will not soon forget my personal experience with the quintessential example of ineffective feedback. I took an honors course in college entitled The 1960's: Film and Society. The entire point of the semester long class was to pick a movie, director or sequence of movies from the 60's and analyze that movie considering the state of the world and thus the social reflections of the film(s). The only grade in the class was the final paper which was to be the culmination of an entire three months of research. With little tidbits here and there from the professor, there were only minimal guidelines and feedback offered. At the end of the semester with 25 pages in hand, which seemed to be a tremendous amount to me at the time being a sophomore math major, I turned in my paper and prayed. Although I have never have any problem writing papers, with such little amount of direction offered, I had no idea if I had even written on an appropriate topic. Two weeks later, final grades were posted and sure enough I got an A+, but I have no idea how or why. To this day, I have never seen the graded copy of my paper on Dr. Strangelove. I emailed and even attempted to make appointments with the professor, but all to no avail. Feedback is bad enough when it is ineffective, but it is worse still when there is no feedback at all. Scrai010 (talk) 21:34, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I recently made an attempt to write my exit exam. I knew when I walked out of the room I did not pass. Although I have not gone in to receive any feedback I know what some of the comments will be. I struggle with ideas on what to write about. Not that I do not have anything to say, I just find it difficult to express what I am thinking, also I am still learning to type so my brain moves much faster than my fingers, by the time I get two words typed I forgot what I wanted to express. With all the writing it looks like I will be doing for this class maybe that will change.Mlipl001 (talk) 03:11, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Effective Feedback ExamplesEdit

I learned a lot about writing in my English 111 and English 112 classes when attending SVCC and I want to thank those teachers. I had to do an action research project on any subject that I wanted. What a headache! There were different components to do the action research project but I did not know exactly where to put the information. When I got the paper back, the instructor gave me some very good feedback as to my writing and what should go into the action research project and what should be taken out.Msmhobbs04 (talk) 02:42, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I recently finished taking an undergrad World History class that I needed to complete in order to get my teaching license. In that class, all of the tests that we took were identifications, short answers and essays. On each of the test, we were required to compare and contrast 2 things (countries, events, etc.) for the essay portion. My professor gave great feedback on all portions of the test, but especially the essay portion. He did not just put "needs more details" or "needs more dates" or anything vague like that. He offered useful feedback that made me think. He gave some examples but didn't spell everything out for me either. He would make comments like, "how about this person or place?", "how would this event have worked into the essay?" I was able to realize what he was looking for in general and learned what to include as each test passed. The teacher's comments were specific enough that I could see what I needed for that essay in particular, yet it was a hint that I needed to include more from then on. I really found those comments motivating and positive and really helpful. When I saw the teacher's positive thoughts from the beginning, I was pleased to know that I had given some good information. In addition to this, through his suggestions, I learned how to improve in the future! Khedl002 (talk) 18:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I recently completed a poetry class. To me, poetry is like art and music. Each of us has different tastes and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Although I enjoy reading some poetry, analyzing poems is an entirely subjective matter and if five people read the same poem, there would be five different interpretations. In my poetry class, I was tasked with reading and answering questions about poems such as: “What evidence in this poem is there for the necessity of a symbolic interpretation? What is your symbolic interpretation?” I must say that my professor gave appropriate and constructive feedback. She would explain exactly what I had missed in my interpretations and cite lines in the poem to make her point. I always understood exactly her point of view, even if I didn’t agree with it. When she liked my interpretations, she told me so and cited exactly why. She made something as subjective as poetry interpretation concrete and objective and helped me understand some of the how and why poets write as they do. I now have a deeper appreciation for how much work truly goes into a writing a poem. Her good feedback made all the difference in how well I performed in the class. Sciaston (talk) 15:23, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Being a music student, I am not required to complete many writing assignments. Last semester, though, I was required to write a 10-12 page term paper for my Vocal Pedagogy class (a class on teaching voice). For the paper we wrote about two topics: the first half of the paper was about the anatomy and processes of the voice and singing, while the second half was about a choice topic. My choice topic was "Exploring the Middle Voice in Full Lyric Sopranos." When we received our papers, I was very pleased with the feedback that my professor gave me. All of the feedback followed the correct format; as in, it was specific and constructive, yet positive. Since the topics I wrote my paper on are essential to what I will be teaching in the future, the feedback that was provided for me helped me understand what I already know and what I need to review. Sbutl016 (talk) 18:16, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

As an undergraduate student I majored in psychology, which translates to having to write a great deal of papers. I would write 10-30 page papers regularly. I enjoy writing papers, but more than that I enjoy getting positive feedback on my papers. I have always felt I put a lot of time and effort into each paper so yes the grade is important, but I also want to know the professor enjoyed reading my work. I had one undergraduate course that we were required to write a 10-12 page paper. I chose to write mine on ethnicity and counseling. When I received my paper back I was very surprised the professor broke down every paragraph and gave me feedback. I received and A on the paper which made me happy, but I was so much happier knowing she really did take the time to read the paper and inform me of good or great information and sources. I have written many papers at ODU, but never had one professor make me feel like all the time and effort I put into the research and writing of the paper paid off.Lwill031 (talk) 19:21, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

A few semesters ago I had to write a 10 page research paper on a Japanese god. As I knew very little about Japan, or their gods, it was a paper I felt rather flustered on. When it was finally time to turn in the paper I felt that I understood the topic I had spent hours researching. However, when I received the graded paper it was marked up with red ink all over and I was given a C-. After reading through the corrections I could not make heads or tail of any of them! I set up an appointment with my professor and she went through each paragraph of the 10 pages with me, specifically pointing out what needed correcting and what I had misinterpreted in the Japanese culture. The meeting lasted almost an hour and when I left I had a better understanding of the culture and what I needed to do to improve my paper. The professor even gave me some of her personal books to use as references! When I turned in the rewrite of the paper my C- turned into a 100 A+, and the only reason I could figure is because I listened to all of my professors helpful feedback, suggestions and tips (and of course returned all of her books! :-D ) Hcogg001 (talk) 00:18, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I graduated in December 2008 with a BS in Psychology from ODU. During my last semester, I decided to sign up for a Supervised Research class. For for this class, we wrote an entire APA style research article under the supervision of one of the faculty members. While this was certainly not an easy task to write such a long paper, the fact that I had such a wonderful professor to work with made the experience much better. During that semester, I wrote countless drafts and finally wound up with a paper that I was very proud of. My professor took a lot of time out of her busy schedule once or twice a week to meet with me, read my draft, and give me feedback. While I felt overwhelmed sometimes, her positive constructive feedback left me wanting to try harder and make changes to better my final paper. She corrected any grammar issues, as well as content and formatting issues. In the end, I had a much better appreciation for Psychology researchers and also was very proud of my A+ that I had worked so hard for. I may have been able to write a mediocre paper by myself in a lot less time, but was so thankful that I had wonderful feedback throughout the entire semester and was able to produce a paper that I was proud of.Alucy001 (talk) 14:43, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

As I attended school for my BA in Business at the University of Puerto Rico I took an English writing class as an elective with the goal of improving my writing skills. I knew I would be moving to the states and possibly continuing my education so I took the challenge. As the class progressed and I found myself drowning in a sea of writing assignments on different topics, I found the feedback received by my professor to be very much helpful. I noticed that my choice of words and sentence structure had improved because the teacher had “murdered” my earlier papers. My professor never held back on feedback. She gave me tips on how to research topics as well as the use of correct quoting and references making a paper more reliable. She always pushed me to believe that I could get it done with the hopes of arriving to her level of expectation. I wrote a paper about how I thought that having uniforms in public schools would improve students in every way. I was so proud of myself, I finally got across the point that I wanted in the correct way. Using more explicit wording and having improved my researching skills, I finally got an A. Even thought that still came with some feedback about how I could still improve the paper I was happy to receive it because it would let me know in what areas I still needed a positive push. I still keep this paper not only because it was very important to me because of the topic, but because I worked as hard as I could on the assignment. This experience helped me accomplish a personal goal as well as improve my writing skills. Bpenn005 (talk) 16:27, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Although it has taken several years to gain my coinfidence, I consider myself a fairly good writer. Therefore, I greatly appreciate teachers who give me informative and constructive feedback on my writing assignments. One of these teachers is a history teacher, who I have had here at Old Dominion University for my Bachelor’s as well as at Thomas Nelson Community College for my Associate’s. Here grading style is that you almost never receive a perfect grade, but come very close to it. I have met many students who are discouraged by this, but I find this type of feedback very encouraging because it pushes me to do better writing than in my other classes. She also gives very good feedback on the content and technicality of your paper. For example, last semester I had her for Women’s History and submitted a draft to her. She gave comments on mechanical errors, since one of my weaknesses as a writer is run-off sentences. However, she also commented on the content of my paper, which I believe is one of my strengths. She offers, at least in my opinion, a balance of your strengths and weakness in writing while pertaining to the paper’s topic. She has a great sense of balance of assessing the content of your paper, with the technical and mechanical aspects as well. As a writer, I feel that while it is important to have a grammatically sound paper, it is perhaps even more important to have a paper that is strong in content. However, it is good to have a teacher like her for student such as me, because I know that she will be grading accordingly on all aspects of my paper, including grammar and content. Adart001 (talk) 19:55, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Coming from a Spanish language dominated island, it was hard for me at first to write good papers in English. It took me several bad grades and countless sleepless nights to raise my GPA not only to keep my scholarship, but keep playing baseball and finally have decent grades in my English class. It was not until last semester where I received positive feedback from my professor. She made it clear that our research paper that contained not only traditional argument styles but also Rogerian argument influences would count for more than 50 percent of our final grade. Since she took the time to know my classmates and my struggles throughout the semester, she held a 20 minute conference with each student, where she see the writing from the students point of view, and review our rough drafts with us. In this time, she not only pointed out my more than common grammar errors but she helped me shorten my words to form complete and precise sentences. Like the articles we have read bout feedback, my professor took the time to ask "what we meant" or "why do you think that idea is beneficial?".These questions helped me develop my point as well as provide further detail to help the reader understand the point that I wanted to make. She pointed out my strengths, quality of my work, what she liked (cognitive and motivational factors) and help me expand these ideals throughout my research paper. In these feedback conferences I learned a lot like highlighting my goal and how to make my writing better and precise. Although I'm still not a perfect writer, I feel that I learned much from my professor.Ehern004 (talk) 21:47, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Last semester my English teacher wouldn't really be very constructive with her comments. She taught her class like we were all Graduate English majors or something. When in reality it was English 110. When she did leave comments they were all basically x's and question marks. I personally don't think that is a very constructive. I think that a teacher should at least tell you a couple things that I would be able to use to improve my paper. It would be different if there was a question mark missing, but no it was along the lines of "what does this mean?". Also in the band classroom if a director just tells me that a certain thing was wrong and doesn't either explain another way to finger a certain note or play a certain rhythm then how is it going to get any better. Rcoll029 (talk) 19:38, 6 June 2009 (UTC)