Melissa McCallum

Primary Teacher

Glencairn Primary

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

Does the type of feedback given have an impact on a child’s learning?


It has been noted that feedback to pupils has been recognised as a key strategy in learning and teaching(Gamlemand Smith, 2013). In the current climate of COVID-19, it was crucial that the focus of this enquiry was a topic that could be investigated within the governments blended learning approach. Feedback is an essential part of learning and is something which is given in both the physical classroom and virtual environment. Bartlett (2015) recognised that we need to see a shift towards developing effective formative assessment strategies and as such, this group decided that the type of feedback given would be an interesting subject to research.

It has been made evident by (Education Scotland, 2019), that feedback in the classroom has a vast impact on learning and this is further reinforced by (Conroy et al, 2009: 21), stating that “it is an essential component of the learning process.” As practitioners, we have a duty to incorporate a range of assessment strategies to allow us to measure the progress and attainment of the learners within our classroom. Policastro, McTague, and Mazesk (2016) argue that verbal feedback can be one of the most effective methods for the reason that it allows students to receive information immediately, whereas Francis, (2011), says that “written feedback, even in its simplest form could be beneficial to all students.” As a group, we felt that it was important to establish whether verbal or written feedback could have a more positive impact on students and their learning, Moreover, Bartlett (2015), also recognised that formative feedback is a driver behind student achievement which can result in better empowered learners. Therefore, results from this enquiry can be used to inform future practice in response to students’ needs.

It was highlighted that literacy is the responsibility of all practitioners (The Scottish Government, 2009), and has been defined as “the set of skills which allows an individual to engage fully in society,” (Education Scotland, 2008). Therefore, the focus area for this enquiry will be literacy lessons.


The aim of this practitioner enquiry was to investigate the use of verbal and written feedback within a primary setting. The enquiry studies what happens when the teacher provides regular feedback of each type and the subsequent impact on a child’s learning and their engagement.

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