Sinead Agnew

Primary Teacher

New Monkland Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

The Use of Immediate Verbal Feedback in the Classroom


The Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) provides children and young people with a variety of essential skills for work, life and learning (The Scottish Government 2010).In 2001, the ‘Assessment is for Learning’ (AifL) programme was incorporated to improve the quality of teaching and learning across Scotland. Heritage (2015), stated “… the essential purpose of formative assessment as the means to identify the “gap” between a learner’s current status in learning and some desired educational goal”. According to Hayward & Spencer (2010), promoting attainment is most effective when each child’s learning is tracked and developed through the use of daily formative assessment.

As professionals, it is our responsibility to embed assessment into the curriculum. Williams (2009) highlighted that formative assessment must be specific, timely and consistent, in order reap results. Thus, recognising the importance of immediate verbal feedback in furthering the success of all children’s learning. Through implementing various techniques and assessment strategies, practitioners are often able to deepen their understanding and therefore can provide effective feedback to advance the child’s current level of comprehension. Sadler (1989) expressed how children’s learning is improved when the child is aware of the objective of their learning – goals should be specific, measurable and achievable. With this in mind, it is vital to focus on developing the particular skill being taught, and then using this promote the task at hand. Black and Williams (2008) identified instant verbal feedback as an imperative instrument that should be included into daily practice to move learners forward.

This investigations seeks to identify the effect of immediate verbal feedback on children’s learning and the standard of work produced. After careful consider, my team and I decided to conduct our study with a group of six children, from three literacy ability groups. I conducted this enquiry using a variety of differentiated written literacy tasks and catered to individuals requirements. Over the two week assessment period, all children demonstrated areas of improvement, and other areas where they had not applied the verbal feedback given, and therefore demonstrated that verbal feedback had limited impact.


The aim of this investigation was to:

  • identify the impact of immediate verbal feedback in developing children’s learning;
  • highlight the effect of immediate verbal feedback, in comparison with written feedback during a sequence of literacy tasks.
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