Descriptive Feedback Examples
A Poetic Picture (Grade 2)
Students will appreciate how a community’s physical geography shapes identity.
Stories of Alberta’s Past (Grade 4)
Students will recognize oral traditions, narratives and stories as valid sources of knowledge about the land, culture and history.
Exploring Personal Worldviews (Grade 8)
Students will appreciate how a society’s worldview shapes individual
citizenship and identity.
Students will re-evaluate personal opinions to broaden understanding of a
topic or an issue.
Descriptive feedback is best used in the absence of letter grades or percentages. When students receive both a numerical grade and descriptive feedback, they tend to focus on the grade and the benefit of the descriptive feedback is lost (Butler). Descriptive feedback is an effective way to provide feedback to students relative to the Values and Attitudes outcomes where a letter or numerical grade might not be appropriate.
Descriptive feedback provides feedback to a student that is descriptive and specifically related to the learner outcomes. It highlights what has been done well and prompts further thought. Through comments and questions it models the use of the language of the outcomes and if used in assessment for learning, provides opportunities for students to improve their work.