Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

Teaching Tips & Links for SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING

Issue 67 - Secrets of Highly Effective Feedback

September 3, 2019

Feedback for teaching can be a loaded term, one that is often equated with negative criticism. In higher education, it can take a great variety forms and be delivered in a variety of contexts. This week we continue our short series on feedback with some tips for delivering feedback to students.

This week's topics:

  1. Highly Effective Feedback for Students

  2. A Feedback Hack: Talk to Text

See also previous issues of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU on Feedback: 5, 6, 15, 18, 28, 58

Professional Learning Opportunities this week

Assessment feedback: how, why and where

Look at effective and efficient ways to provide assessment feedback to students.

Adobe Connect online - https://connect.csu.edu.au/qlt; Wed 4 Sep 1:00 pm, Thur 5 Sep 1:00 pm

CRADLE Seminar Series:

Using research into diverse students' assessment experiences to change practice.

When: 2.00 pm - 3.00 pm, Tuesday 17 September 2019
Where: Online or at Deakin Downtown, 727 Collins St, Melbourne
Cost: This is a free event; More info: Visit the event page

See below for details of other Professional Learning opportunities this week at Charles Sturt University.


1. Highly Effective Feedback for Students

What Are the Secrets to Providing Highly Effective Feedback to Students?

By John Orlando

Source: https://www.magnalearning.com/learn/video/what-are-the-secrets-to-providing-highly-effective-feedback-to-students?client=magna-mentor-commons

Reading time: 2 minutes (19 minutes for original video).

"Think like a coach."

This is the underlying message in this thought-provoking short presentation that looks at providing feedback on both summative and formative assessment. The premise is that great coaches are great teachers and they teach through feedback.

Coaching analogies

The first part of this talk provides these strategies illustrated with easy to follow coaching analogies,:

  • Avoid "justifying the grade" - making comments such as "vague", "lacks synthesis" etc. is a grading-based approach to looking at student work.
  • Instead, use a teaching-based approach - What can I teach the student? What have they shown me that they know and still need to know?
  • Example: rather than writing "lacks synthesis", explain to them how to synthesise.

QUOTE: “Number one thing to starting to give good feedback to students is to get yourself out of the grade-based mentality ... The primary purpose of reading student work is to give feedback that will help the student learn."

Types of feedback

The next section discusses feedback as three different types, all of which are needed to promote student learning:

Feed BACK - information about a student's performance in the past

  • It is essential that feedback is detailed
  • Both positive and negative feedback are necessary.

Feed FORWARD - information on how to improve performance in the future

  • Use the student's work as a teachable moment
  • Develop a "teaching toolbox" - a feedback bank. Dr Orlando goes into clear detail about how he implements this with his teaching (6:15 -7:45 min on the video, or see the transcript, p.2).

Feed UP - information about why the students are performing a particular activity

  • Motivate students by explaining the purpose of the assignment.

Using the principles of coaching

Again, the analogies in this section focus on the end game of student learning and the strategies to use to achieve that goal:

  • Teach incrementally – so as not to overload the student; Cover one or two issues at once is best for learning, rather than 50 margin comments on different points.
  • Give feedback immediately – as soon as humanly possible – the shorter the turnaround time, the more effective the feedback – use in-class surveys; use peer feedback;
  • Use modelling – showing not telling – maybe do this through screencasts or videos; show them how an expert does it and they can start copying it.
  • Don’t ask questions as feedback on assignments – it doesn’t make sense to ask a question unless you are going to get an answer; if you want to say something in your feedback, then just say it, don’t pose it in the guise of a question or expect students to read your mind.
  • Focus on your expertise (15:50- 17:50 min) – teach content, not grammar – direct students to your university’s writing centre; that leaves you free to teach content; read student work for thinking, not writing skills; respect them as serious thinkers and respond with what most interests you in your field.

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Tools and resources at Charles Sturt University to implement some of these strategies:

  • Academic Skills Support - for writing and grammar help.
  • NORFOLK - a Microsoft Word add-in for paperless marking that can be used for the creation of comment and rubric banks and other feedback elements in Word.
  • Panopto - for recording video and voice over
  • VideoWorks - service for recording short professional videos.

The PROFESSIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES section below has details about how to get FREE access to our Magna Publications quality Learning & Teaching resources subscription.


2. A Feedback Hack: Talk to Text

Talk to Text: A Hack on Grading

By Vicki Ingalls

Source: https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/edtech-news-and-trends/talk-to-text-grading/

Reading Time: <1 min

QUOTE: “I teach for free; they pay me to grade.”

This short article is supported by an extensive reference list. Ingalls describes her experience with a talk-to-text application to speed up and personalise feedback on student assignments, and eliminate much of the need to type responses.

For this approach you use the inbuilt talk-to-text app available on tablets or mobile phones for conversion for recording of feedback comments. It is quick to learn how to use and to deal with errors in transcription.

Inform your students that this is the system you are using in case there are inadvertent typographical errors. Ingalls has found that some students have adopted the same process for writing their assignments and it has been an aid to focus their thoughts.

Why not investigate how you can use this tool for your own purposes?

Search with your web browser for "speech to text apps" and follow the links to the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store, Microsoft Store or other sources you trust.

There are also some helpful suggestions in the comments section below the online article.


Implementing the CSU Value INSPIRING in your teaching.

Creative in our thinking, yet rigorous in our approach, we drive and lead change and evolution. Through living the value of “inspiring” we engage and motivate our students and communities to also proactively build innovation and capacity into their lives, careers and industries.


UPDATE: Charles Sturt Ed 2019 (formerly CSUed)

Charles Sturt Ed has been postponed for 2019 and is now planned be held in November 2020.


Monday Morning Mentor

The highly popular Monday Morning Mentor Fall (USA) series is starting again and will run for 16 weeks. Charles Sturt staff who have accessed these webinars have enjoyed the topics and the format.

The next topic is titled

Beyond Syllabus Policies: What Strategies Help Students Take Responsibility for Learning?

It becomes available on September 3 (AEST).

Access details will be published in What's New and on Yammer.

Staff with a CSU Magna Publications login can access the webinar directly from their Mentor Commons account.

Alternatively, contact

Ellen McIntyre emcintyre@csu.edu.au


Follow Teaching Tuesdays on Twitter.
Our Twitter feed includes links to further hints, tips and resources in the broader field of teaching in higher education.



1....Teaching support resources at CSU
2....CSU Professional Learning
3....Bonus CSU resource - LinkedIn Learning

4....Magna Publications Subscriptions
5....Links to previous bulletins


1. Teaching support resources at CSU

You have access to a range of quality CSU resources to help you incorporate educational resources and techniques into your teaching. Check out the following:


3. Bonus CSU resource - LinkedIn Learning

All Charles Sturt University students and staff members have access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com).

This online subscription library provides high-quality instructional videos to teach the latest business, creative and software skills, as well as an extensive range of teaching tips.

NOTE: Lynda.com is now LinkedIn Learning and all Charles Sturt University Lynda.com accounts were transferred to LinkedIn Learning accounts on July 8. View some introductory videos for LinkedIn Learning with the links in Issue 64 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU.

A search for "speech to text" returned several options, including:

Predict via the Speech-to-Text API (1m 40s) as part of the larger course

Google Cloud Platform for Machine Learning Essential Training


Using software to generate transcripts (6 min 31 s) as part of the larger course Accessible Video: Caption, Search and Compliance Strategies

A tip

Keep an eye out on recommendations from Charles Sturt - simply click on our logo in the top LinkedIn Learning toolbar when you login to your Charles Sturt account (screenshot below).


Big picture

4. Magna Publications Subscriptions

All staff with a CSU email address have free access to our annual

CSU subscription to the four different high quality resources for enhancing practice.

Video seminars: Mentor Commons (20 minutes) and Magna Commons (40-90 minutes) also include the presentation handouts, full transcripts and supplementary resources that are available for download if you don't have time to listen to the seminar.

Text-based resources: The Teaching Professor (for teaching staff) and Academic Leader (for those in academic and administration leadership roles).

How to subscribe

There is a single CSU subscription code to access all four of these resources.

Staff with a CSU login can obtain the code and subscription instructions from this What's New link.

Alternatively, contact

Ellen McIntyre elmcintyre@csu.edu.au or

Matthew Larnach mlarnach@csu.edu.au


5. Links to previous bulletins

Folder with all previous issues.

Other CSU Learning & Teaching Newsletters

Division of Learning and Teaching: DLT News

FoBJBS Newsletter: BJBS-News

FoA&E Newsletter: NeXus

Click below to download a list of previous Teaching Tuesdays@CSU topics

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Suggest topics that you would like for Teaching Tuesdays; or
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Contact Ellen McIntyre elmcintyre@csu.edu.au to offer your suggestions.

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Teaching Tuesdays@CSU Contacts

Learning Academy, Division of Learning & Teaching, Charles Sturt University

Teaching Tuesdays@CSU bulletins are edited by Ellen McIntyre
Lecturer, Academic Development in the Learning Academy at Charles Sturt University

Kogi Naidoo

Dr Kogi Naidoo, FHERDSA and PFHEA, is Associate Professor and Director of the Learning Academy, Division of Learning and Teaching at Charles Sturt University, playing a strategic role contributing to and enhancing teaching, the curriculum and assessment practice, meeting both staff and student needs.