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Feedback: Feedforward

Feed Up - Where am I going? (What are the goals?)

To establish an effective feedback system, the first thing to do is to identify a clear direction. This is a defining characteristic of ‘Feed Up’.

To ‘Feed Up’, teachers will need to first set clear, achievable learning goals. Learning goals, or sometimes called learning intentions/objectives, provide students with absolute clarity as to the knowledge, understandings or skills they are progressing towards learning. Robert Marzano (2017, p. 11) articulates that "effective feedback begins with clearly defined and clearly communicated learning goals… Students understand the progression of knowledge they are expected to master and where they are along that progression".

There are a variety of models, which can help teachers articulate these learning goals; however, the overall message is that learning is not fixed - it requires effort, reflection and movement forward. Learning is for everyone and the clearer the goal, the more likely students will be able to hit it.

“Students can hit any target that they know about and stands still for them” (Stiggins).

Other points in the research:

  • Goals need to be appropriately challenging.
  • Both students and teachers need to be committed to these goals.
  • In addition to teachers providing clear learning goals, is it encouraged in the literature that students provide their own difficult and challenging learning goals.
  • Feedback needs to directly be related to criterion goals.

(Hattie & Timperley, 2007)


Feedback needs to address these levels. Feedback for the novice should be task based - how they performed a task and the next steps to achieve this task at a higher level. Proficient students should receive process level feedback. This is the processes that need to be understood to perform the tasks. Students who self-regulate, or are competent, should be receiving feedback that describes how learners can monitor and regulate their own actions and seek next steps. This feedback should develop the willingness to seek and effectively respond to feedback to self-assess and self-correct.



Hattie, J. (2009) Visible Learning, a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge. 173 - 176.

Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112.

Marzano, R. (2017). The New Art and Science of Teaching. Moorabbin: Victoria: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Murtagh, L. (2014). The motivational paradox of feedback: Teacher and student perceptions. The Curriculum Journal, 25(4), 516-541.

Woodward, G. M. (2015). Peer review in the classroom: is it beneficial? Literacy Learning: the Middle Years, 23(1),40 - 46.

The Secret of Effective Feedback

Dylan Wiliam From <>


Thanking the contributors to this information – The Effective Feedback Action Research Pod

Leanne Addley, Melissa Liddy, Danielle Sim, Christianne Kemp, Matthew Levander, Greg O’Neill,