Changes in classroom practices are necessary for assessments to be part of the student learning process (Shepard, 2000). One of the ways to do this is by establishing collaborative relationships between students through discussion of work expectations and related criteria. The use of formative feedback has been identified as a method of increasing motivation and individual student achievement (Gomez Puente, van Eijck & Jochems, 2013) Receiving and incorporation of this feedback is important not only to the learning process and that of building knowledge (Gomez Puente et al., 2013).

The use of feedback as a method of evaluation is not a new concept in educational practice. Its use as a way of improving learning, rather than to be used for a positive/negative impact, is something that I have been pondering. While the form of the feedback can vary, both Shepard (2000) and Gomez Puente et al., (2013) have identified its benefit as a scaffolding method to help students in their understanding of concepts and solving real context problems within design-based learning situations. Is scaffolding created by design-based learning activities or the assessment itself? The timing of the delivery of the feedback is a consideration in the problem-based task that student is involved in.  Formative feedback can be presented in a way that provides an opportunity for the student to reflect on their performance resulting in guiding the student to a solution through reflection and trouble shooting. When would the best time be to provide the feedback? If this feedback is given too soon, the student will merely be performing tasks without understanding their purpose. If the feedback is withheld for too long of a time, student frustration and potential unsafe errors may result. Timing for feedback seems to be as important as the feedback itself.


Gomez Puente, S., van Eijck, Jochems, W. (2013). A sampled literature review of design-based learning approaches: a search for key characteristics. International Journal of Technology and Design Education 23(3), 717–732 DOI

Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in a learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4-14.