Sean Kennedy


Caldervale High

  • Assessment For Learning

The Effect of Instant Verbal Feedback on Pupil Learning


The Scottish government states that learners learn best, and attainment improves, when learners are given feedback about the quality of their work, and what they can do to make it better (Scottish Government, 2005). William and Black (1998) also highlight the importance of feedback, stating that formative assessment is the most powerful tool in increasing pupil achievement. They also highlight that effective feedback is one of the many tools available to teachers to engage in formative assessment. Hattie (1992) describes feedback as “the most powerful single moderator that enhances achievement”. This highlights the importance of feedback in education.

Feedback should help learners improve in a specific activity; when feedback provides correction or improvement in a piece of work, it is valued by learners and acts as an incredible motivator (Jones, 2005). Conroy et al. (2009) suggests that in order for feedback to be most effective it should be prompt, direct, specific and positive. This paper will consider both instant and delayed feedback and evaluate whether the application of instant feedback does indeed provide a more effective means of improving pupil learning.


The aim of this enquiry was to evaluate instant verbal feedback as a formative assessment technique and the impact it has on learning and teaching in a classroom setting.

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