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Written feedback: what is it good for and how can we do it well?

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posted on 01.01.2013, 00:00 authored by B Jolly, David BoudDavid Boud
Almost all students and teachers spend a vast amount of time writing. Paradoxically, in the age of electronic media, writing, emails or ‘texting’ has replaced many other forms of communication, so when the opportunity arises to give or receive feedback there is a high likelihood that it will be delivered in written form. There are great differences in what and how we write. For example, as young researchers, we might spend a week or two blitzing out a long rambling article. Then, in the struggle to communicate to others, over the following many months, we hone the paper into something that somebody else would like to read, using many self-feedback loops. This type of auto-feedback forms the major part of most academics’ experience of feedback. Finally when we ran out of our own resources, or when our writing showed visible improvement, we sent it to someone else for judgement or formal feedback. Sometimes that person was the editor of the intended journal, and sometimes it was just a colleague. Either way, there was usually a long wait, and the results were altogether unpredictable. With all this writing being done, and with the amount of self-feedback that we generate, one might think that:

a) a lot of feedback to others gets delivered via writing; b) guidance about how to give written feedback is pretty well formulated; c) this guidance is underpinned by substantive research on written feedback.

History

Title of book

Feedback in higher and professional education : understanding it and doing it well

Chapter number

7

Pagination

104 - 124

Publisher

Routledge

Place of publication

Abingdon, Eng.

ISBN-13

9780203074336

ISBN-10

1135107475

Edition

1st

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1.1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2013 D. Boud & E. Molloy

Extent

13

Editor/Contributor(s)

David Boud, Elizabeth Molloy

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