Section 5.6 Closing the Feedback Loop

Section 5.6 Closing the Feedback Loop

Section 5.6 Closing the Feedback Loop

The key function of SET is to improve teaching (Spencer & Schmelkin, 2002; Chen & Hoshower, 2003) by inviting student comments on their learning experiences within a module, stage, or programme. To maintain the productivity of this cycle it is imperative that students see how their feedback is used and that it has some impact on teaching.


As it stands, a major criticism of SET is that generally is that it fails to close this ‘feedback loop’ (Watson, 2003). After data and comments have been analysed and implemented, results and actions should be communicated back to students. This should occur as soon as possible (Gross Davis, 1993) and doesn’t have to be overly detailed.


Some of the issues may be easily and quickly addressed, and students should be made aware of efforts taken to resolve these. Other issues may not be so easily addressed and may require attention and action over an extended period of time. Again, students should be informed of the reason for any delay to ensure that they continue to attach value to the evaluative process (Keane & Mac Labhrainn, 2005). By closing the loop students can see the value of their input, its positive impact on teaching, and are therefore more likely to participate constructively in future evaluation surveys, rather than using the process to simply vent frustration (Tucker, Jones, & Straker, 2008).


The strategies for providing feedback to students suggested below are based on information from Griffin and Cook (2009), Keane and MacLabhrainn (2005), and Watson (2003).


5.6 closing the feedback loop.jpg


Activity 5.6

What three innovative methods, not listed above, could be used in your class to close the feedback loop?

Method 1

Method 2

Method 3

Submit your answers



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