3 reasons why giving individual feedback to students is important



1.  Giving individual feedback to students saves them during tests and exams

Giving individual feedback regularly to students will enable them to make attitudinal and habitual changes, which will in turn help them increase their learning enthusiasm towards studying. Over time, they often improve in the subject(s) you are teaching.

When exams approach, they are often more readily prepared for these assessments, as compared to situations whereby they are not receiving any feedback from their teachers.

The types of individual feedback to be given to students varies but it should include the following:

  • Positive attitudes to learning (to be inculcated)
  • Disruptive behaviours in class (to be refrained)
  • Improvements on their assignments or areas to improve on
  • Communication skills with their teammates and classmates (to be improved)
  • Enquiries for any drastic drop in grades or interest in lessons
  • Enquiries about any factors that are affecting their learning

“When feedback is given to students on a consistent basis, the rapport between the students and their teachers also improve, which will in turn enable the students to learn better.”

2. Giving feedback builds strong rapport between students and their teachers

As mentioned in the previous point, giving feedback to students individually and consistently throughout the semesters enables great rapport to be established and sustained between students and their teachers. This is because the very act of giving individual feedback to students by teachers shows that the latter care for their students.

“The very act of showing care towards students’ academic performance by concerned teachers is a primary determining factor in enhancing students’ learning in the classrooms, and may well be instrumental in having greatly engaged student and fantastic learning experiences.

Doing so also increases the possibility of students providing constructive feedback to their teachers, such that their teachers are able to improve their teaching methods and techniques as well.”

3. Giving individual feedback to students enables teachers to understand their students’ learning styles after receiving their responses.

When giving feedback, it’s very important that teachers ask the students if they have interpreted their observations of them correctly to avoid miscommunications, which is common.

For instance, a teacher may provide feedback to a student about his or her ability to focus, since the student is always typing away at her laptop in class when lessons are in session. However, what is happening is that the student learns by typing the main points mentioned in class into a Word document on the laptop. Without asking for the student’s response and without looking at what the student is working on on his or her laptop, the teacher has created a miscommunication, which will probably damage the goodwill between them. If the teacher had asked the students for the reasons for their actions, a lot of misunderstanding can be avoided, with the teacher being more aware of the student’s learning style as well.

A great solution is for teachers to always ask why, when in doubt about their students’ behaviour – thereby giving students a chance to provide a rationale to justify their behaviours.


Author’s background: Patrick Tay is an English Writing Specialist who lectures in various polytechnics in Singapore, and coaches students in English as a private tutor. His professional services can be found here


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