The Importance of Constructive Feedback
So many teachers grade papers for their students but fail to give them constructive feedback. I recently learned in two of my college classes how important constructive feedback on assignments is to motivation and morale. I got good grades on my papers but still wanted to know for sure if I grasped the concepts or not. Just getting a good grade did not tell me that the instructor really read my work. It just told me I got a good grade. My motivation level in the class was low and I did not feel good about the entire experience at all. This experience did help me realize that I must do better with my students once I get a classroom of my own. Kids, more than adults, need constructive feedback to help keep them motivated and promote a good attitude regarding the class.
Constructive feedback does not mean telling a student all that was done wrong and it does not mean giving empty praise. Constructive feedback is a teacher taking the time to thoroughly go through a paper and point out the good points and portions of the assignment that are in need of improvement. This process does not have to take a lot of time yet a teacher must take the time to really read a students work and point out the high and low points so that the student knows where to go from there. A person can’t improve if they don’t know what they’ve done wrong and they have a hard time remaining motivated when they never get feedback on assignments. A teacher just putting notes at the end of an assignment stating that the student did a good job grasping the content of the assignment is a motivator to many students.
Students who are higher learners do need more than comments at the end of assignments. Many times they are like me and are perfectionists. They want to know that they grasped the concepts but also what areas were wrong so that the next time they can do better.
Younger students just need a short note saying they did a great job and maybe a smiley face. As they grow though they need more, they need to know what they did right and what they did wrong. Giving constructive feedback will help keep most students interested, motivated and promote a positive attitude in the classroom because they know the teacher cares enough to make sure they are learning.
Picture by Flickr
About Kim Miller
I am a single mom of two sons, 15 and 18 years old. I also have an 8 month old grandson. I recently earned my BA in Elementary Education and am working toward an MA in Elementary Education. I love working with children and watching them learn.