Understanding Feedback

Feedback - can you afford to ignore it?

You have started your degree programme and you want to do well. How can YOU make that happen?

When you undertake a piece of work, you will get feedback from your lecturer or sometimes from other students. It is given to you to let you know how you are progressing and to help you improve the quality of your tasks in the future. How can you make it work for you?

The University offers you lots of support, but your own progress is down to you!

Don’t waste marks by submitting work late or failing to take feedback on board! Use the questions and answers here below to help you get the marks you deserve.

Q. How can I get ready for feedback?

Find out:

  • if it will be written or verbal or online
  • who will give it: your module co-ordinator; your lecturer; your Personal Tutor; your Adviser of Studies; other students
  • when will you get it
  • what to do if you don’t get it

Answers to these questions should be in your Course Handbook or Module Guide - if you can’t find them, ask your module co-ordinator and don’t wait until the end of semester to do this.

Feedback may be given during class discussions or at the end of lectures – don’t lose out, make sure that you are there to get it!

Q. When will I get feedback?

It can relate to:

  • Your ideas about your subject or how you plan to structure a piece of coursework
  • Practical classes
  • A draft or outline that you have prepared
  • Your individual assignment
  • A group report or your contribution to a group project
  • Your performance in a piece of coursework or an exam
  • Your performance in the workplace whilst on placement

Q. What sort of feedback will I get?

  • Written comments on your own work or the work of a group
  • A mark or grade for your work
  • Face to face comments about your work
  • An email or an online comment made about your work or contribution in class
  • Comments made to the whole class (often based on common errors or frequent difficulties)
  • Comments made on an assignment sheet
  • A model answer that shows you the type of standard you should aim for
  • Using ‘track changes’ where a lecturer may edit your work to show how it can be improved
  • Comments made or forms completed by employers whilst you are placement


Q. Who will give me feedback?

  • Module co-ordinators
  • Lecturers
  • Personal Tutors
  • Advisers of Study
  • Other students (this is known as peer assessment)
  • Placement supervisors
  • You - when you assess your own performance!

Q. How can I understand feedback?

  • If you don’t understand the feedback, ask! Talk to your lecturer to clarify what the feedback actually means and why you have been given it. Office Hours are publicised for this very purpose, so don’t be afraid to ask for an appointment
  • If you cannot read hand-written feedback, don’t be embarrassed to say so.
  • Read it several times or listen to it carefully and think about how it applies to your work or ideas

Feedback has no value if you don’t understand it and you don’t act on it!

Q. How can feedback help me?

  • It helps you to work out where you have gone wrong and also tells you when you are on the right track.
  • It makes you feel more confident about your next piece of work.
  • Look at the feedback you have received recently and use it to make your next assignment better than your last one.
  • The PDP e-folio has blank Learning Logs and Action Plans that you could use to help you do this.

Fuel your future - make feedback work for you!

Q. How can I get the most from feedback?

  • Become your own harshest critic and self-assess your own skills
  • Think about what you have done well and what you can improve in future – it is not just about one piece of work!
  • Maximise the advice you get in one module or assignment – it can often apply to others e.g. presentation and communication skills and other skills for life
  • Use the Personal Development Planning (PDP) supports that are offered as part of your course.

Paying attention to feedback is investing in your future!

Q. Where can I go for help?



Understanding Feedback Workshop


Click here to find out how you can learn from your feedback:follow these 5 steps to help you get the most from feedback and improve your performance.

Click here to read ‘Building on Feedback’, an extract from the 2nd edition of Professor Phil Race’s book ‘How to Get a Good Degree’ (2008, Open University Press)

Click here to access the Assignment Survival Kit (ASK)

ASK is a step by step guide that can help you to plan and complete different types of assessment to meet deadlines in a focused and organised way.  Type in the submission date for your assessment and then follow the suggested steps.  So don’t panic, just ASK!

Need further guidance?

Book a One-To-One Appointment

Undergraduate students can arrange an appointment with a Learning Development Tutor for help in identifying key areas for improvement along with personalised guidance 

Appointments take place in the Student Guidance Centre and last up to one hour.  Click here to arrange an appointment through MyFuture.