Too Good To Miss

Hi to all,

I happened to run by this post from Sarah Brown Wessling.  She is a high school instructor in Johnston, Iowa and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel.  The article deals with Sarah’s overuse of the comment “great” in describing feedback for her class and individual students.  Click here to read the alternatives for what she was really thinking.

I liked the list of prompts that is included, and it can be a helpful tool for everyone.  This is particularly meaningful as instructors move forward in their integration of standards into their daily lessons.  Think how applicable these suggestions can be as you work with a class on text dependent analysis.  What student comments work especially well for you? 

Meryl Becker-Prezocki, SME 


Hi Meryl and all, Thanks for posting this link! I appreciate the reminder to incorporate different words into my feedback to students. Sarah Brown Wessling's lists include oodles of useful suggestions for providing positive feedback. One thing I've been trying to discipline myself to do with positive feedback is to explain why what the student has done is excellent. I think all of us appreciate knowing what specifically is effective in our work.

So, for example, students in my class are currently preparing presentations. When I reviewed the first drafts, I told the students they did well, and I pointed out some specific positive aspects of the presentation. "The layout of your slides is effective because you use only one or two colors, the font size is large enough, and you include only a few words for each bullet point. The images you chose connect readily to the content of each slide and enhance your presentation."

Of course, I offer constructive feedback, too. I usually say, "Here are some ideas for how you can improve your work." I want the students to make their own edits as often as possible, so I'll point out a few particular issues and ask them if they know how to fix them.

I follow these same principles for all students whether they are creating presentations, writing for the GED or writing papers for one of my graduate courses.

What works well for you in providing constructive feedback to students?

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP



Hi Susan and others,

Thanks for your comments on constructive feedback to offer to students.  Two of my favorites that I often used when I was in the classroom talking to students were:

            “How would you explain this to another student?”

            “I need to write this down.  I do not want to forget what you said.  I want to use those same words when I explain it again."

How about other group members?  What are the comments that you provide to students when they do great work?

Meryl, SME


I was just reviewing the discussion and had a thought.  What do you say when the effort is not so great?  How can that be turned around to a positive?

I would sure like to hear from you.  We can all benefit from your comments.

Meryl, SME