Types of feedback

Within this section we list the various types of feedback that students might receive from their course and module leaders, together with student comments.

Typed comments and annotations

This is when tutors use comments and annotation within assignments, so that feedback is positioned ‘in context’ against specific points in students’ original work.

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This is when tutors use a variety of portable recording devices to verbally record and provide students with audio commentary of their work. Audio feedback can be provided on any assignment or assessment task, and it is claimed that more detailed, in-depth and personal feedback can be provided in this way.

Marketing student – “gives a personal touch but no written feedback, offering richer, more detailed and meaningful comments; depends how it is carried out – can be stressful – tutor needs to retain a constructive and positive tone at all times.”

Electronic marking grid

Electronic marking grids can be used to provide individual feedback to students based on their performance against the assessment criteria.rubric 1PNG

Business & Accounting student – “everyone got the same amount of feedback which is good”


This is where screencast software can be used to highlight specific points or demonstrate specific actions in the student’s original work while providing detailed audio commentary and feedback. When returned, students can see the process that the marker went through in reviewing and discussing their work.

Department of Engineering and Maths student – “the screencasts provide a more personal form of feedback and helped us develop our understanding of the subject”; “thought it was really good and makes a change from the very brief feedback we normally get from other tutors.”


e-Portfolios are increasingly used. These can be constructed, for example, in blogs, through the Blackboard Portfolio tool or via PebblePad (see further guidance below). As well as being a record of learning that has taken place a portfolio can also provide a reflective record of professional development enabling the individual to document progress.

Nursing & midwifery student – “get regular feedback on progress and records PDP, able to record evidence, observations and reflections.”

Submitting Assessments in PebblePad Some parts of the university use PebblePad for assessment.

In some cases, your work will be submitted automatically and your submission will update right up until the deadline – you can see if this is the case for a particular asset by looking for the ‘Auto-submit’ label next to its name. When an asset is set to ‘Auto-submit’ by your lecturers, you can just work on it as normal and don’t have to do anything to submit it.

In other cases, you will have to select the assets that you want to submit for assessment. This is done by using the ‘Share’ menu for the asset, selecting ‘For Assessment’ and then selecting where you want to submit the asset. You can see if an asset has been submitted for assessment by checking the Clipboard icon for the asset. Take a look at the Guidance on submitting assessments from PebblePad

Face to face

Face-to-face feedback can be formal or informal, received from tutors or peers and take place within class (e.g. discussions, peer review activity) or outside class (e.g. staff office hours, within group work and learning sets).  This form of feedback provides two-way communication between the students and tutor, giving you the opportunity to ask questions.

Fine Art student – “a much more personal, individual approach when receiving feedback.”


The minimum expectation for exam feedback is for the teaching team to:

  • provide one-to-one examination feedback on request by students, and;
  • provide one additional type of examination feedback (this is not applicable to final year students within their final semester).

Exam scripts cannot be retained to students, but the content of the script and tutor feedback comments can be used to facilitate feedback.

Student feedback requests are to be made normally within 3 months but in exceptional cases or where necessary e.g. whole year re-assessment, feedback could be given up to a year of the exam taking place.

What’s the difference between formative and summative feedback?

Feedback can take the form of: personal written feedback; online objective feedback; feedback grids;  audio feedback; generic feedback; peer feedback; self-regulated feedback; feed forward; dialogic feedback. It can be given both formatively and summatively:

Formative feedback refers to the information and advice students receive about their performance and how they can improve it but do not receive a mark. The timing of formative feedback is often important so students can apply it, for example before assessment tasks are attempted.  Formative feedback is usually given throughout modules. Some examples of this are:

  • comments from seminar tutors within the timetabled preparation and feedback workshops;
  • answers to questions and comments made in class;
  • draft project plan;
  • the views of your peers in group discussions.

You might also proactively seek feedback from peers, tutors, contacts at work or from your placement. Seeking feedback and acting upon it is one of the skills that will stand you in good stead in your working life so make sure you practice that skill wherever you can.

Summative feedback refers to the formal comments made by the academic with responsibility for assessing a student’s work so that the student is clear about their level of achievement, the way their work has been assessed, and how their work could be improved. Summative feedback should help students to reflect on what they have done and how they can do better and, in this sense, is also formative in nature.

Summative feedback provides a measure of students’ progress against intended learning outcomes using specified criteria at key points in the course.   Students receive a grade for their work, that can form part of their final classification.