The Office of Faculty Development

Reflection, Response, & Student Feedback

Students do not always get opportunities for reflection. Yet, it is one of the most powerful tools at their disposal, because reflection is a way to own one’s learning more deeply and directly. The Tuesday Tip from December 8, 2020(opens in new window) covered this topic and offered some resources, referring to the importance of dedicating time for reflection at the end of each semester. So how do we set students up to reflect constructively about their educational experience in a course? How do we create & deliver feedback that elicits a positive and productive response and promotes learning? This Teaching Guide will give you resources to explore and answer those questions.

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    Examine selected research on Reflection, Response & Student Feedback: 

    Hsieh, S.-W., Jang, Y.-R., Hwang, G.-J., & Chen, N.-S. (2011). Effects of teaching and learning styles on students’ reflection levels for ubiquitous learning. Computers and Education57(1), 1194–1201. in new window)

    Devi, V., Mandal, T., Kodidela, S., & Pallath, V. (2012). Integrating students′ reflection-in-learning and examination performance as a method for providing educational feedback. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (Bombay)58(4), 270–274. in new window)

    Quinton, S., & Smallbone, T. (2010). Feeding forward: using feedback to promote student reflection and learning - a teaching model. Innovations in Education and Teaching International47(1), 125–135. in new window)

    Winstone, N. E., Nash, R. A., Rowntree, J., & Parker, M. (2017). “It”d be useful, but I wouldn’t use it’: barriers to university students’ feedback seeking and recipience. Studies in Higher Education (Dorchester-on-Thames)42(11), 2026–2041. in new window)

    Pitt, E., & Norton, L. (2017). “Now that”s the feedback I want!’ Students’ reactions to feedback on graded work and what they do with it. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education42(4), 499–516. in new window)


    Ready to apply Reflection, Response & Student Feedback to your teaching? Here are some ideas and strategies to get you started:

    • You will need to teach students how to do effective reflection and share best practices as they might not be familiar with this process
    • Consider incorporating exams, projects, or unit wrappers to guide students in productive reflection.
    • Explore alternatives to traditional grading formats as these alternatives often promote improved feedback and reflection in the learning process.
    • Use “Because” more often. “This is great because…” or  “This statement could be improved because…” The word “because” can be used as a verbal prompt to initiate further reflection, response, and/or feedback.
    • Take advantage of tech tools that allow giving better feedback faster.
    • Seek some feedback for yourself and process how you handled hearing it. What triggered positive reactions? What triggered negative reactions? How might what you do elicit similar responses in your classroom.
    • Consider non-verbal feedback and its impact on connection and engagement in the classroom.