Examinations: Feedback Assessing the essay feedback technique of providing an example of a full-credit answer
Providing students with useful feedback on graded essay test items can be challenging. Ideally the feedback should be specific enough to help students understand what type of information the instructor sought in the answer and why a particular student’s response was graded as it was. One common feedback method is for instructors, on returning graded exams to the class, to verbally describe their grading criteria (major points or pieces of information sought while grading the essays). My experience with such verbal feedback is that it does not always help the students who did poorly on the essay to understand the reason for their unsatisfactory grade. A more specific method of providing feedback on essay items and other written assignments is for the instructor to select the best example from the class and (removing the student’s name) distribute a copy to all students. This approach allows an instructor to describe the grading criteria with reference to an actual student response.