Making Use of Feedback

Making Use of Feedback

Feedback is a very important part of studying and it can deepen your learning. However, you need to make sure you make the most of feedback when you receive it.

Why is feedback so important?

  • It helps you identify where you are going wrong (or right!)
  • It can improve your next draft or assessment task (this is known as ‘feedforward’)
  • It can help you focus on issues beyond the mark you receive
  • It helps you to develop useful skills in both an academic context and beyond

What do I do with the feedback I receive?
Once you have received feedback on an assessment, spend some time reviewing it carefully. Look for feedback that tells you what was good about what you did, and what wasn’t so good. Then, think about what you can learn from the feedback; what changes will you make to your next assignment. This is known as ‘feedforward’. To turn feedback into feedforward, ask yourself, “What action will I take to improve my next assignment?”.  

For example, an educator might comment on an assessment where you had misunderstood what you needed to do. Although you may not be able to change the grade you received for that assessment, in future you should carefully read the assessment task description. You could look up the exact definitions of task words and phrases like ‘discuss’ and ‘analyse’ (see the link to a glossary below). You could also book an appointment with Student Learning Support to help break down your next assignment question and prepare a plan to ensure you are addressing all parts of the task correctly and completely.

How do I make a feedback action plan?
Making an action plan is a useful way to help you think about how you can improve when completing future assessments.  An action plan doesn’t have to be really formal, and it only takes a few minutes to create.  To make an action plan, review your feedback and jot down some changes to make next time around, things to avoid or include in future, and strategies and tools to improve your work. Then, use this document as a checklist of things you need to do or pay particular attention to when completing your next assessment tasks.

Action plans can also help you ‘let go’ of an assignment, particularly if you feel disappointed with the mark or grade. Creating an action plan can help you reframe the assignment as a useful learning experience instead of focusing on the result. File away the assignment, but keep your action plan as a reminder of what you have learnt. You can download an action plan template under the 'Resources' section below.