Strategy: Providing Academic Feedback

Check-Up Menu > Providing Academic Feedback
Academic feedback is an objective description of a student’s performance intended to guide future performance. Effective feedback communicates where a student is in relationship to the learning objectives and provides information on how to get to the objectives from there. Immediate feedback is best so that students are learning new concepts correctly; however, feedback is also provided through graded or corrected assignments. It is important to be sensitive to students’ culture when providing feedback to ensure that they are able to receive and use the feedback to improve their academic performance.
Academic feedback helps students assess their performance, identifies areas where they are on target, and provides tips on what they can do to improve in areas that need correcting. Academic feedback serves to reduce errors and increase student engagement and achievement.
How Providing Academic Feedback Relates to CARES
Providing effective academic feedback requires sensitivity to students’ cultures. Some cultural groups are mastery focused (i.e., completing the task) while others are effort focused (e.g., learning from the process). In some cultural groups, praise is valued and in other groups, it is considered to be embarrassing to receive public praise. For some, criticism is considered more valuable than praise because it can be used for growth (Trumbull & Rothstein-Fisch, 2011). More important than thinking about how innumerable cultural groups might respond to feedback, it is best to build authentic relationships and get to know how each student best responds to academic feedback in the classroom.
Some key elements to providing effective academic feedback include:
1) The feedback is timely. Feedback should be given as close to student performance as possible. Good opportunities to provide feedback are when returning a test, following oral responses to questions, or to clarify misconceptions.
2) The feedback is constructive and corrective. Tell the student what they are doing that is correct and not correct. Feedback should be related to the learning objective and the essential elements of the assignment.
3) The feedback is specific. Use precise language on what to improve in relation to a specific learning target or goal.
4) The feedback focuses on the product, not the student. Provide guidance on how to improve (e.g., strategies, tips, suggestions, reflective questioning, etc.).
5) The feedback is verified. Determine if the student understood the feedback and provide opportunities for the student to modify the assignment or product based on the feedback.

How To

How to Provide Academic Feedback

Providing Academic Feedback - Icon
Academic feedback occurs when students have an opportunity to respond during instruction. Therefore, instruction that provides high rates of opportunities to respond (see Increasing Opportunities to Respond) also provides more opportunities for giving academic feedback.

Strategy Tool

Providing Academic Feedback - Strategy Tool
Use the Academic Feedback strategy tool to learn a specific correction procedure and to think about how it might be applied with different types of students in your classroom.


Providing Academic Feedback - Reflection
Take a moment to reflect on how you will deliver effective academic feedback, particularly when covering new material.

Goal Setting

Providing Academic Feedback - Goal Setting
Use the following form to set your academic feedback goals.

References to Other Relevant Resources:

Hofmeister, A. M., & Lubke, M. (2011). Research into practice: Implementing effective teaching strategies (4th ed.). Logan, UT: Academic Success for All Learners.

Marzano, R., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Trumbull, E., & Rothstein-Fisch, C. (2011). The intersection of culture and achievement motivation. School Community Journal21(2), 25-53.


Concentration Areas: Connection to the Curriculum; Authentic Relationships; Reflective Thinking About Cultural, Racial/Ethnic, and Class Differences; Effective Communication; Sensitivity to Students’ Culture

What is CARES?

CARES is an acronym for the five domains that research has found to be successful in engaging students of culturally diverse backgrounds at school. Each letter refers to a significant element of interaction within the classroom. Applying all five domains of CARES works because it promotes a better understanding of students and ourselves by using strategies that deepen those relationships every day.

There is no single element that works independently of the others. All five CARES domains, together with the Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate elements, support one another and need to be applied in the classroom to be successful.

Why is it important?

Research has shown that each of the five CARES domains has a significant impact on students and their behavior when used regularly and over time. Students who are known and understood by their teachers as individuals in the classroom report deeper connections academically and to their school. When teachers understand their own cultural heritage, they better understand the differences between themselves and their students and report higher levels of mutual respect with students. This also helps teachers to recognize the similarities they share with their students as well as recognize ways in which they are different. Students are more connected and engaged in classrooms where teachers welcome exploration; invite, acknowledge, and celebrate cultural differences; make relevant connections to the curriculum; listen attentively to understand how each student is approaching the concepts; and use humor and other effective communication tools.

Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate

Concentration Areas: Smooth Transitions, Pacing of Instruction, Student Engagement, Clear Expectations, Use of Praise, Use of Reprimands, Level of Disruptive Behavior

What is Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate?

Positive Behavior Supports refers to the proactive ways that teachers work with their students, as well as the ways that teachers respond to challenging situations with students. The focus is on recognizing and affirming student strengths rather than punishing them or taking something away from them. A positive approach to the classroom will promote a classroom climate that is welcoming to all students and is a place where students want to engage with the teacher, each other, and the curriculum. All individuals, students and teachers, and the interactions between and amongst all classroom members play a role in the climate.

There is no single element that works independently of the others. All Positive Behavior Supports & Classroom Climate elements, together with the CARES domains, support one another and need to be applied to the classroom to be successful.

Why is it important?

In a classroom climate that is positive and welcoming to all members, the classroom becomes a safe place where culture and diversity can be openly discussed. A supportive climate is one that promotes student engagement and success. Students feel supported and motivated to be an active member of the classroom community. The teacher taking a positive and proactive approach creates a climate of care and respect and promotes desired student behaviors. This classroom is also a place that provides consistency to students, which is especially important for students who may experience stress and uncertainty outside of the school building. Teachers who have positive and proactive classrooms report fewer disruptive behaviors from their students, an increase in student achievement, and better overall perceptions of school climate.

Providing Academic Feedback

CARES Overview

Greeting Students at the Door

Using Journals to Build Relationships

Identifying Reinforcers for the Classroom

Using Social and Emotional Coaching

Using Behavior-specific Praise

Using Active Supervision

Using Group Contingencies

Using Precorrection

Teaching Behavior Expectations

Increasing Opportunities to Respond

Developing and Using Clear Academic Objectives

Posting and Using a Schedule

Coaching Process – Menu of Options

Coaching Process – Providing Feedback

Coaching Process – Introduction and Overview

Observation Practice 4

Observation Practice 3

Observation Practice 2

Observation Practice 1

Using an Attention Signal

Teaching Classroom Routines

Physical Classroom Structure

Values Card Sort – Example

Card Sort Introduction

Coaching – Interview Guide

Opening the Meeting

Defining and Teaching Classroom Rules

Mrs. James

Miss Faber

Double Check Classroom Check-Up Overview