Kerri Doran

Business Education

St Andrew's High

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

What Happens When Timely Feedback is Provided in an S3 Digital Classroom?


The potential of bringing about change in the classroom lies in teacher practice that deliberately embeds assessment criteria and standards in pedagogy in productive ways (Wyatt-Smith, 2014). Early reports from OECD (2013) express the need for better assessment and evaluation that deals with upcoming technologies that prepare our learners for the world of work. This includes rethinking the continuing relevance of centralised exams at the end of a topic where the results constitute the only source of evidence for certification. Wyatt-Smith (2014) highlight that this evidence is often limited in terms of how it can build upon and extend learning skills and opportunities. The teachers’ role extends to developing students evaluative experience through a focus on professional judgement with a shift from the attention of teaching to that of learning.

This notion put forward by Wyatt-Smith (2014) reflects the view that pupils benefit directly when they have greater clarity and shared understandings about the expectations of the quality of their performance. Each child learns differently, at different rates and they each have different abilities. Children are unique, which calls for unique ways to teach them and to grow their intelligence and abilities. Something that gives insight into how the student views the world, and how they cope with challenges is called mindset (Dweck, 2006). Dweck described two ways to view mindset: fixed and growth. Different mindsets lead to different ways of viewing challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and the success of others (Richard, 2007). As a result, those with a fixed mindset may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential. Whereas, pupils with growth mindsets tend to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks and see effort as the path to mastery.

In order to understand performance, effort, criticism and success; feedback must be provided. Feedback is an expected and essential part of academic development; it is something that is given and received regularly. Feedback comes from multiple sources and in various formats; it can be invited or unsolicited and presented formally or informally (Jeffs et al, 2021. This particular study delves in to the digital arena of using Microsoft Teams Assignments as a tool for providing specific, timely feedback. Regardless of the context, feedback is often intended to be formative, developmental and growth-oriented. This view is undeniably shared by Black (2010) who starts with the self-evident proposition that teaching and learning must be interactive. Teachers need to know about their pupil’s progress and difficulties with learning in order to adapt work to suit the needs of the pupil. The study by black (2010) proved fruitful, highlighting that frequent formative feedback helped enhance pupil’s learning.

Despite its potential value, Shute (2008) reflects that ‘feedback is not quite so rosy or simple’ (p. 153). Both giving and receiving feedback are often associated with angst, confusion, denial, dread, and fear. The following inquiry will provide insight of pupil’s perceptions of feedback, how they take it on board, and how they choose to use it.


The primary objective of the study is to answer the question; “What Happens When Timely Feedback is Provided in an S3 Digital Classroom”. Naturally, this has been broken down for further exploration, and as a means of truly answering the overarching question, sub-questions have emerged, which are:

  1. To what extent does timely feedback motivate pupils to improve future work?
  2. To what extent does timely feedback prompt pupils to look back over their work?
  3. What are pupil perceptions of receiving feedback?

The use of pupil work, questionnaires and focus group should allow for a fully comprehensive understanding of the impact of providing timely feedback.

Download Practitioner Enquiry