Responding to feedback

Getting feedback on an assignment is an important part of the teaching and learning experience. Take some time to review the feedback you receive from markers – and use this knowledge to try to improve your assignment writing.

Tips from students

Feedback from lecturers is invaluable – it very specifically describes how you can achieve a HD next time! I would recommend reading through the feedback, and then making a clear list of what they’ve suggested could be improved.

– Ari Moore, Writing Mentor

1. Interpret the feedback

Try to determine exactly what the marker is commenting on:

  • the expectations set out in the unit learning outcomes and assignment marking rubric?
  • the structure of your writing or the language you have used?
  • your use of sources, including the way you have referenced them?

If you are unclear about the feedback that you received, make sure you speak to your unit chair, lecturer or tutor to clarify – in class, via the unit discussion forum, or via email.

2. Analyse and apply what you have learnt

Identify specific areas that you may need to address in your next assignment.

  • How can I improve my sentence structure?
  • Am I showing adequate evidence? Enough analysis?
  • Am I making my paper easily digestible for my reader?
  • Am I providing too much or too little information?
  • Do I need to pay more attention to my references?

Keep a log of the comments you receive for various assignments – are there common issues that you need to address in your writing? Once again, review this log of feedback so that you can incorporate this feedback into future assignments.

3. Talk it out

It really helps to discuss your feedback with someone else – it could be a classmate or a friend, and Study Support can also help you do this. We have Writing Mentors, Maths Mentors and Language and Learning Advisors who can help you to interpret and review your feedback.

4. It's nothing personal

It is important not to take feedback as personal criticism. Lecturers mark thousands of assignments, and their end goal is not to point out your mistakes, but instead it is to suggest ways to improve your writing. Keep an open mind. At the end of the day, your teachers want to see you getting the best marks you can.

5. Build on your strengths

Don’t forget any positive comments made by your marker. Know your own strengths and build upon them.

It is your responsibility as a learner to respond to feedback – no one is going to force you to act on it! Why not see this feedback as your ticket to academic success, and you’ll be sure to make the most of every piece of feedback you receive.

-- Tips from Ari Moore and Barkha Agicha, student Writing Mentors

6. Take action!

Use this Feedback action plan to help you record, evaluate and  create an action plan to address your feedback, and build on your strengths.

Lecturer tips

As a result of marking and moderating many assignments, I would like to share some tips with you on how to use your feedback to improve your work. I know when students get their assignment results they are sometimes disappointed. We understand that you work hard on your assignments and we want you to succeed, so when we mark we do it very carefully and we put a lot of thought into providing constructive feedback that will help you improve.

  1. Read the rubric and the assignment brief carefully to understand what is being asked of you. When marking, we ask ourselves: did the student fulfil the task, and how? And if not, what was missing from their assignment?  You should ask yourself the same questions when writing your assignment.
  2. It is useful to see feedback as a tool to help you improve. That means read the feedback carefully, compare it to the rubric and critically ask yourself:
    > Can I see what the marker is saying?
    > How can I use this feedback to improve both in this unit and in others? Sometimes students see feedback as only applying to that one assignment. Although some feedback is specific, much of your feedback is about improving your overall academic writing and communication skills, and therefore can be applied to any assignment in any unit. So take note of the key points and keep these close at hand when writing your next assignment.
  3. Make use of the resources available to you as a student.  These resources are provided to help you, and we want you to improve, so please make use of them.  Resources include Librarians, Study Support, Maths and Writing Mentors, and others.

The purpose of providing feedback is to help you improve. We want each and every one of you to succeed in your studies and we are here to help you do that. So please, read your assignment brief carefully, read your feedback carefully, ask lots of questions, and seek out help – and you will be on the path to success!

-- Tips from Micaela Spiers, Unit Chair of MMK101 Marketing Fundamentals

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