Text-Based Feedback

Wendy Wood a Lecturer in Applied Mental Health talks about her experiences of providing written electronic feedback to students

Providing feedback as electronic text replicates much of the paper-based marking practices you may currently use. You can annotate and highlight student's work, colour code annotations to represent feedback themes and provide general comments to replicate an assignment front sheet. Before starting the marking process it is important to consider health and safety advice around using Display Screen Equipment.


Why would I use technology to provide text-based feedback?

  • Comments are more legible and can be formatted by the student to meet their individual needs
  • Easily provide links to online resources and other relevant information
  • Easy collection for the students with no need to come to campus
  • Share and re-use feedback comments across assignments, modules and academic years


How do I use technology to do this?

There are a number of different technologies you could use in order to provide text-based feedback to your students. How you provide this feedback will depend upon what it is that you are feeding back about. If you are feeding back on student work then the format this work takes will largely dictate which tool might be more appropriate. You may also want to consider using text-based feedback in combination with audio feedback or audio-visual feedback.

Many of these systems will require you to have a connection to the internet and may require broadband. If you have problems accessing a broadband service off campus and this is where you do most of your marking, then you will need to consider using a technology which can be used offline. This could be via a mobile app (iAnnotate PDF Lite) or software on your computer like Microsoft Word. This will then need to be returned to each student using a tool like the feedback folders in Course Resources.

Another area to consider is whether you are using multiple markers. To help manage this process you might want to invest time at the beginning of a module setting up Groups in Course Resources. These can then be used to help manage the division of students between markers allowing you to filter to those students within your group.