How do you give feedback?


So far, I have loved used Formative to plan and record these learning evidence. My question will be where and how do educators provide feedback? Let’s say students submit an essay, how do we give descriptive feedback? Formative assessment and feedback should go hand in hand.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions and tips.




Dear @alison, the next week will be your week: our Effective Feedback Team will lead you and all the others through a very interesting week.


Hi @alison. When you grade each student’s question there is a send student feedback box. I use that to give feedback on open ended questions or to guide students while they are completing a formative during class. Have you tried that feature yet?


@kjohnson I saw the feedback box now. Thank you for pointing this out!


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I have a question about this now. If I have embedded a web tool, for example, Voicethread or Flipgrid, and would like to give students individual feedback on their oral tasks. What might be the best for me to provide feedback in the same space? It will be best if I don’t have to create another good doc and give student feedback.

Thank for your tips and ideas in advance.


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Hi @alison, you could place a self reflection rubric under the flip grid or whatever you would like to embed. If you put the rubric as a “show your work” question, students can circle how they feel they did and you can use the same feedback box you would on other questions to give your feedback. Let me know if this helps!


Thank you @kjohnson. Great idea. I added a picture of different emoji and students can circle their feeling to the task submitted.

Another question I have…When we give feedback, after hit enter, is there anyway that we can edit our own comment instead of delete and rewrite the comment?

Thanks for your help.

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But why grading, surely it negates all purposefulness of why we are doing Formative Assessment in the first place? IMHO the visual correctness (the grading color) tool might hinder students intrinsic ability to self-correct and monitor their own performance, instead of implicitly enforcing an external control and suggesting that there is just one correct answer.


Hi @niko I see your point here. It certainly depends on the type of content, skill, or formative assessment you are giving. Many of my students struggle with spatial understanding. I have to catch them up on a lot of geographical foundational knowledge fairly quickly to engage them in my content. In this case I may have several continents and oceans, absolute or relative location, or other geography formatives for them to work on during the course of a unit. Each one gives them immediate feedback on whether they can correctly identify where the continents and oceans are and then they reflect on which areas of the world map they need to target in future study sessions. In this way the color grading is incredibly effective for my kids to see where they are comfortable and where they are struggling (The colors only come up after they submit).

In many ways students have always studied like this, just without technology. If you test yourself with a set of self made flash cards, for example, you will turn them over at some point to see which ones you correctly identified and which ones you need to study further. Goformative just gives our kids a visual readout of how they did so they can target certain areas over time. Study guides often serve the same purpose, if you fill out all that you know first and then go back to fill in the blank areas later, you have identified areas of comfort and areas of concern.

In terms of advanced concepts, such as analyzing a primary source or event from multiple perspectives, then the color coded grading does not work because they are multiple ways a student can tackle that question. Typically I do not use goformative as much for those concepts as I try to change up the pace with different hands on activities in the classroom.

Just like anything else Formative is another tool in the teaching tool belt that can be used however we see best in the classroom. I can say that it has changed the type of dialogue I have with my students in terms of what it means to “understand something,” as we often talk about what learning a concept looks like. If they can answer formative questions that is often the starting point rather than the end point of their learning of that concept. We will move onto more advanced tasks from there.

Also, besides my actual summative tests, none of my formative assessments are entered into the grade book. They are simply to inform students and to encourage dialogue in regards to their learning.

I hope this maybe clears up how the color grading feature can be used? Let me know!


I use color-coded grading in my math class like this:
First, I set all questions so they can have partial credit easily (1 and 10 points work the best for me.)

Red - auto-graded by Formative (something’s wrong, but the teacher hasn’t given feedback yet.
Orange (.3 or 3 pts) - big error - teacher gave feedback on the problem
Yellow (.5 or 5 pts) - mostly right, small error - teacher gave feedback
Green (.7-1 or 7-10 pts) - mastered except for maybe a tiny error