Critique of Grant Wiggins’ “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback”

TO:          ENGL 3300 E4

CC:           Mark Long

DATE:   02/17/14

FROM:  5300

RE:          Critique of Grant Wiggins “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback” revision

B0006080 Listening to sounds

Author: Royce O’Neale

Executive Summary

Grant Wiggins goes deep into detail about what “feedback” really is by breaking t down into specific characteristics and explains in depth how efficient it can be in the article “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback“.

Feedback is used in comments made after a fact has been stated, advice has been given, praise has been worshipped, and evaluation has been responsive. The essentials of creative and well-equipped feedback are goal-referenced, tangible and transparent, actionable, user-friendly, timely, ongoing, and consistent that all leads up to progression of a goal without time.

Overall he made good arguments in favor of providing feedback for students and gave helpful examples. However it would have been helpful to see how feedback works with students.

Detailed Summary

He mentions that there are certain qualities for feedback that make it successful. Goal- referenced is called effective feedback requires that a person has a goal, takes action to achieve the goal, and receives goal-related information about someone’s actions. Tangible and transparent shows the student that there would be some kind of response to their goal. Actionable feedback means that the student understands what they need to do to fix the issue. Feedback should be user-friendly because students cannot do anything with it if they do not understand it. Feedback should be timely and on going so that students are in the frame of mind to keep working and getting help and it should be consistent so they are learning to complete their goal.


Wiggins does a good job breaking down the characteristics about what effective feedback is. That type of information is encouraging for educators because they see that there is a purpose for giving that response to students. The way he compares feedback vs. advice was helpful in explaining the difference between the two.

The only negative quality was that he did not present how the students actually reacted to feedback. According to Maryellen Weimer “Getting Students to Act on Our Feedback” many students do not change anything because they think the teachers are just justifying the grade that they received. It would be interesting to see his response about how he feels about that by using first hand encounters with students and teachers.


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