It’s been an interesting enough week in the assessment world that I’m compelled to blog for the first time in a long time.
Early last week, I encountered this “Focus on Formative Feedback” literature review by Valerie Shute.
Table 4, near the end, on page 179 lists “formative feedback guidelines in relation to timing issues.” Shute recommends using immediate feedback for difficult tasks, and delayed feedback for simple tasks. She says that to promote transfer of learning, teachers should consider using delayed feedback. To support that claim, she says,
According to some researchers (e.g., Kulhavy et al., 1985; Schroth, 1992), delayed may be better than immediate feedback for transfer task performance, although initial learning time may be depressed. This needs more research.
Then, just yesterday, Dan Meyer jumps in with a post on delayed feedback.
My gut says that the timing of the feedback is far less important than the quality of the feedback. Dylan Wiliam has entire chapters dedicated to providing feedback that moves learners forward. Next steps are useful to all students. Evaluative feedback that evokes emotion isn’t particularly useful to anyone.
I’m not sure this does need more research.