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Formulate useful feedback on quizzes

Feedback is an important part of education, but how do you write good feedback on quiz questions? Here it is explained why good feedback should problematise the answer and how you design the feedback according to how you use the quiz. You also get tips on how to create feedback for automatically assessed quizzes.

Good feedback problematizes the answer

The purpose of feedback is to assist students in comprehending what they did well and what they did not so well, allowing them to develop their understanding. Good feedback should problematize the answer, making the student contemplate follow-up questions and their answers. Poor feedback such as "Not correct" or "Good" does not provide relevant information to the student. Students need to know why something was good in order to apply it to other quizzes. Research also shows that relevant comments on a student's work motivate them to study more than mere praise.

Create feedback to automatically graded quizzes

The primary advantage of automatically graded quizzes is that they are graded without you having to spend time grading them. Furthermore, you can create feedback that is automatically provided by designing it at the same time as you create the questions and answer options.

Write general feedback based on the reasoning behind incorrect answers. Then, the feedback is beneficial and independent of what the students responded. Students who answered correctly will view the explanation as praise, while those who answered incorrectly will learn from it.

This type of feedback is easier to write when the incorrect answer options are credible, such as using common student mistakes. Read more about this on the page Formulate questions and answer options .

Design feedback after use

The type of feedback you provide to your students on quizzes should depend on how they will use the quiz.

Tips for written feedback

  • The feedback should be a maximum of a few sentences long and in the form of explanatory text.
  • Save time by reusing common formulations when giving longer feedback.

The quiz is taken once

For one-time quizzes, your feedback should focus on what is correct, what is incorrect, and what distinguishes the student's solution from the optimal one. You can give short and general feedback on automatically graded questions and longer, more personalized feedback on free text answers.

The quiz is taken several times

If students are given several chances to complete the quiz, it is better to refer them to relevant course material rather than giving them the correct answer. For example, you can explain which concepts the question deals with and refer them to relevant chapters in the course literature.

The quiz is part of a lesson

Feedback from other students is well suited for quizzes given during class time or used as part of the lesson. For example, you can have students respond individually, discuss the answers in groups, and then present what they have come up with to the rest of the class. Or have them answer a multiple-choice question, give the correct answer, and ask them to discuss what makes the other options incorrect. Regardless of the format, it is important that you as a teacher actively keep track of the discussions and help the groups that get stuck.