Returning Marks & Feedback

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Marks and feedback returned electronically and timely are more likely to be read and used.


"Students should be able to see how marks are
arrived at in relation to the criteria, so as to
understand the criteria better in future. They
should be able to understand why the grade they
got is not lower or higher than it actually is."

Transforming the Experience of Students
through Assessment (TESTA)

If you would like to explore carrying out TESTA
on your own programme, please contact the LLI.

Not all work is submitted or marked electronically, but that does not mean that marks and feedback cannot be returned electronically. If there are small incremental marks associated with problem solving tasks or tutorial work these can also be recorded in a column in the Blackboard Grade Centre. Having all their provisional marks in one place helps students gauge their own progress and self-regulate. Marks often do not appear in MyStudentRecord (window onto SITS) until after Exam Boards have met and ratified them.

Not all feedback is text on a document. If feedback is an audio or video recording, how will that be returned to the student? If it is verbal, how will the student be able to refer back to it (do you encourage them to take notes or allow them to record it)?

When marks and feedback become available, use the announcement tool to not only let student know, but also to remind them how and where to find their feedback.

Creating good-quality feedback is the first step. You also need to show students where to access it, help them understand it, and link it to other assessments. This is a great opportunity to include some discussion activities during teaching time, to ensure that students engage with their feedback. Since feedback is such an important part of learning, it is vital that we help students to make use of it (O'Donovan et al, 2016). This can be achieved through reflective questions that link to the next assignment, or through draft-plus-rework assignments, where students have the opportunity to review their drafts based on feedback, and resubmit the work. You could, for example, embed within contact time the use of this excellent resource that helps students to analyse their own feedback.


This report on Returning Feedback, produced by JISC, provides more information and links to additional resources.

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