Principles of feedback

Feedback has a powerful impact on student learning outcomes and significantly influences students’ satisfaction. Feedback is a process of engaging students in reflection on their learning and enabling them to improve as they move forward (Henderson, Ajjawi, Boud and Molloy, 2019).

Leading researchers argue that we need to stop thinking of feedback as something that we give to students but instead understand it as a way to enable students to take action.

Students need to be active participants in this process for feedback to be effective. This means that we may need to teach students about understanding and working with the feedback they receive. This is sometimes referred to as a learner’s feedback literacy. Research clearly shows that assessment feedback is a lynchpin to students’ effective decision making, and the basis of improved learning outcomes (Henderson et al., 2019).

However, feedback is under-utilised and often misunderstood by both students and educators and there is no single feedback strategy or model that has been shown to work across all contexts (Dawson et al., 2019). Nonetheless, there is a rapidly growing body of research that offers us insight into potentially useful principles.

Watch this video from the Feedback for Learning project on how feedback is a student centred process.

Student-centred feedback

Most of our day-to-day uses of feedback tend to be teacher centred – that is, something that an evaluator communicates to students. Feedback is often discussed as if it were an act of beneficence on the part of a lecturer for which students should be grateful. A teacher-centred perspective emphasises the role of academics in ‘giving feedback’ and does not adequately recognise students’ active role in the process of their own learning.

Ashift from a teacher-centred perspective provides a valuable opportunity to reposition the academic as just one actor within the feedback process. Indeed, feedback comments can be from, and instigated by, a variety of sources including the educator, peers and others, systems (e.g., automated systems), and self (the learner).

To learn more about strategies for integrating feedback, visit the Quick start tab.

Education Performance Standards Framework

The Education Performance Standards identify the expectations of education practice at Monash – See the Education Performance Standards for more details.

Impact on student learning

Impact on educational knowledge

Impact on educational environment

Effective teaching and learning

Responsive program design

Student- centred orientation

Professional learning engagement

Pedagogical content knowledge

Education research performance

Education innovation

Education leadership





You could address these Practice Elements by providing evidence of how you:

  • Provide meaningful, constructive and relevant feedback
  • Provide feedback through diverse channels eg video, audio etc
  • Ensure that the feedback is timely
  • Enable a feedback loop process
  • Develop students’ feedback literacy
  • Give students the opportunity to apply feedback

Draw inspiration