Formative Feedback

While most formative feedback will occur on the spot or as close to the teaching-learning event as possible, it is also important to schedule time for sessions of formal feedback with your students. This is best done early in the unit, e.g. at the end of the first week of a 5 week unit and again more formally midway through the unit. These formal sessions allow time for you as the educator and the student to reflect on their performance and collaboratively develop strategies for improvement where it is needed.

Avoid marking conservatively at halfway to allow room for improvement. Give your student the rating that corresponds with their actual performance. Your assessment needs to provide an accurate message about performance. Student’s report becoming confused and frustrated when they sense or are told there is a disparity between feedback and the rating. Students appreciate accurate targeted feedback with practical strategies to assist them to achieve improvement where it is needed.

Reflection pointRemember formative feedback is not only to facilitate improvement in a student’s performance but also to positively reinforce those behaviours the student is already performing at or above the standard expected. Give praise where it is due!

Read about Undergraduate physiotherapy student perceptions of teaching and learning activities associated with clinical education:

The log book identifies the 7 domains of practice, with 20 competencies and lists all performance indicators. It is designed for you to collect data during the placement to assist you with supporting your student’s learning (identification of strengths and areas that require improvement). It will assist in giving formal formative feedback, and be useful when determining the student’s grade at the end of the placement.