Enhancing Feedback Enhancing Feedback



This website is concerned with enhancing the feedback that university students get on their progress and performance in undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes of study. The website aims to help individuals and groups to take a fresh look at feedback of that kind and explore ways in which its provision might be improved.


This part of the website, which is written primarily for academic and teaching staff, is in four sections:


Time-friendly ways to boost feedback
Ideas, strategies and case examples
Feedback in your subject
Feedback FAQs for staff


The section on Time-friendly ways to boost feedback provides some starting points for those who have a limited amount of time but would like to improve the feedback they provide for students.


Under Ideas, strategies and case examples you will find more than thirty strategies for improving feedback. These are grouped under eight headings ranging from Involving Students in Feedback, through Feedback-rich Assignments, to Reshaping Curricula and Assessment. Wherever possible, each strategy is illustrated by relevant research and case-examples from across the range of disciplines and subject areas commonly found in higher education. These case-examples draw on the published literature, resources available on other websites, and our own network of contacts within and beyond the University of Edinburgh.


Feedback in your subject offers an alternative entry-route to the case-examples and relevant research referred to in the other parts of the website. Choose a discipline or subject area from those listed, and find out what materials the website can link you to.


Feedback FAQs focuses on key features of feedback. It tackles fundamental questions such as what’s meant by ‘feedback’; how, when, where and by whom feedback can be provided; and why feedback plays a vital role in high-quality learning.


There is no preferred sequence for exploring the website. You can start, and finish, in whichever part of the website you wish. The website is less a finished product than a work-in-progress. We welcome constructive suggestions for adding to, amending or enlarging the website and its case-examples. Please email your suggestions to jenny.hounsell@ed.ac.uk



The website has been designed, written and compiled at the University of Edinburgh by Dai Hounsell, and Jenny Hounsell with the assistance of Chun Ming Tai. Universities, colleges and other non-profit-making bodies are welcome to reproduce parts of the website for educational and professional development purposes free of charge, provided that the source and authorship of the material are clearly and appropriately acknowledged. All other rights are reserved.


The website provides links to many journal articles, case studies and other downloadable material. Some of the articles (e.g. from the Higher Education Academy) are freely available to anyone, and we have provided the link to the page from which you can download the material, usually as PDF files. Where we have provided links to journal articles, we have tried as far as possible to use those which are freely available to Edinburgh University staff and students. Often the link will require you to type in your University user name and password in order to reach the page from which you can download the article. All materials which can be reached via this website are subject to the copyright restrictions of the journal or website concerned.




Feedback Is a Dialogue - The University of Strathclyde's website on feedback. It includes a set of principles for good assessment and feedback with descriptions and examples, and leaflets with advice and resources for staff and students. http://www.strath.ac.uk/learnteach/feedback


Assessment Futures - a website that focuses on the use of assessment to prepare students for future learning, developed at the University of Technology, Sydney with funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. http://www.assessmentfutures.com


Re-Engineering Assessment Practices in Scottish Higher Education (REAP) - a website produced by the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian, with funding from the Scottish Funding Council. The project piloted the redesign of formative assessment and feedback practices in large-enrolment first-year modules and developed strategies for embedding new thinking about assessment into institutional policies and processes. http://www.reap.ac.uk


The Higher Education Academy Subject Centres provide resources on feedback in the form of newsletter and journal articles, and case studies. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk, then follow the link to the most appropriate subject centre for your discipline.


The Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Assessment for Learning at the University of Northumbria is a HEFCE-funded CETL and has produced research reports, case studies and other resource materials. http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/ar/academy/cetl_afl/


Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange (ASKe) is a CETL based at Oxford Brookes Business School. ASKe's work focuses on ways of helping staff and students develop a common understanding of academic standards, and it builds on and promulgates established good practice. http://www.brookes.ac.uk/aske/index.html