How to encourage students to interact with feedback

Profession Dylan William pointed out through his research that: “The only thing that matters with feedback is the reaction of the recipient.” That’s it. Feedback - no matter how well designed - that the student does not act upon is a waste of time.

Several of the @Certified_Educators have been researching this topic about how to encourage students to interact with feedback in order for them to set own learning goals. We would be excited to hear your suggestions about it!

I have also created an infographic of the role of the teacher and student in the process of giving and receiving feedback. I am considering to add the role of parents. If you can take a look at it and share your ideas, that will be very helpful.


One suggestion for encouraging students to interact with offered feedback is to reward them with more points toward their assignment grade. In my classroom, students have an opportunity to re-work an assignment to earn more points. The assignments are not identical, but are based on the same topic. If students have a writing assignment and do poorly on it, but resubmit it after making changes based on my feedback, I give them more points toward their original grades. I have seen several kids take this opportunity and while it is not a perfect solution, it’s a start!


My wife (who teaches math), allows her students to retake tests/ quizzes, but only after students write some sort of a reflection for every item that they missed on the test. So students are interacting with the feedback that they received from the failed test/ quiz and addressing the reasons behind the failed test, whether it was a simple mistake, or a lack of understanding on a specific concept. My wife then ensures that the students address those short comings (for example, coming to tutoring) before re-taking the test.


I do something like this too. They have to identify what skills/content they were weak in and why that might be, then they have to suggest a plan to get better at those skills/understand the content better (we usually do this together during a quick 5 minute debriefing session). After they have worked on those skills we set up a re-test date. When students follow this process there is great improvement.

I often run into parents who want their students to be able to skip this step and just re-take the test. Their score never improves by more than a couple percentage points when they don’t follow the reflection process. We continue to work to communicate why this reflection process is so crucial and why the benefits go beyond just the score on a test or their grade in the class.


I created a formative for a writing assignment that goes along with one of the big campaigns at our school (writing across the curriculum).

During some specific parts of the formative, I am offering feedback in real-time and asking students to address the feedback before moving on. I also created questions that ask student if they responded to the feedback provided.

I attached the formative to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

writing assignment with checkpoints in between.


I see the benefit of having students re-work an assignment to master the content, skills or knowledge. However, I am unsure rewarding students with more points in the formative assessment process. If we are trying to inspire intrinsic motivation, it might be more important to spend time guiding students to see the purpose of the assignment and point out directions for them to improve.