In order to improve the feedback we deliver to our students, we must first think about what effective and meaningful feedback actually is.

At its core, feedback is “actionable information about progress towards a goal to inform or direct future learning and performance.”[1]

The principal goal of feedback is to guide students through their mistakes, correct misconceptions, and improve their overall learning outcomes. It should also direct students towards specific and achievable goals, enhance student-faculty communication, and reduce student anxiety and uncertainty about course objectives.

This guide offers a brief overview of how to offer more impactful feedback, a succinct list of specific ideas to improve the feedback you provide, and a short catalog of campus resources for further exploration.


  1. Erin McCloskey, The importance of feedback in higher education and principles of quality feedback, delivered at the Teaching Academy Fall Kickoff, Madison, Wisconsin, 2013.

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Introduction Copyright © 2016 by Lane Sunwall. All Rights Reserved.

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