When teaching undergraduates, I find myself trying to balance making them stretch to produce good work and giving them guidance. I must admit in my own undergraduate and graduate studies I rarely if ever asked for feedback (plenty of missed opportunities for me). That might color my judgment on this question.
This question is somewhat related to this other one Drawing Lines when Giving Ideas to Undergraduate Students; however, this question is more focused on when to give feedback and when not to.
I generally do quite a few in-class activities (and am considering automated online no-penalty testing) and I consider those ample chances for students to gain feedback which does not affect their final grade (formative feedback). Most modules in my department are assessed by one written report. While I do have the ability to change how my modules are assessed the question still remains:
Does reviewing drafts and giving advice on how to improve their graded submission (prior to actual submission) maximize student learning?
I am interested in any research in this field as well as expert opinions.
Arguments for giving feedback before submission
- Students may genuinely not understand what is expected of them (although I do feel I cover it quite well in dedicated review sessions)
- Students may work harder when things are made crystal clear
Arguments against giving feedback before submission
- Students may end up looking to the teacher for too much assistance and will, therefore, become more dependent where we want to foster independence
- Students may be lazy and
simply wait for the teacher to tell them exactly what to writeseek excessive hand-holding when deciding what to write.
In student surveys asking for what students would most like to see more of, students primarily choose to have more feedback of their drafts prior to submission. This is unsurprising since (almost) everyone wants a better grade. However, I'm thinking that reviewing of drafts is actually hindering student learning.