Feedback after a correct answer

OpenMark is set up to give students increasing feedback after each incorrect attempt at a question. After they have had [usually] three attempts they are given a ‘full answer’. The system is set up so that a student who gets the question right receives the same ‘full answer’. The screenshot above shows this feedback for a simple question.

Our approach raises a number of questions:

1. Is it more useful to give a worked solution or to give an explanation of how the question should be answered (the example in the screenshot was deliberately chosen because it inclues elements of both of these things)?

2. How necessary is it to give the full solution at all when a student has answered the question correctly? Doing so means that good students at least get something (see previous post), it also enables all students to check that their method is correct i.e. that they have not arrived at the correct answer by an incorrect method or by chance. However, I have evidence (from videos of students in usability labs) that once students have been told that their response is correct, they don’t bother to read the given answer. That seems entirely reasonable, but it means that perhaps we are fooling ourselves if we think that a student will learn from the given answer if their own methodology was flawed.

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4 Responses to Feedback after a correct answer

  1. John Kleeman says:


    Very interesting. The research I’ve read says that there is only so much bandwidth students will give to feedback and much more productive to give wrong answer feedback than right answer feedback. Great post, thank you


  2. Sally Jordan says:

    Many thanks John. Our findings (from usability lab observation) would support what you say. Feedback on wrong answers is most useful – and it seems particularly powerful when the student was confident that their answer was right, but it wasn’t!

    best wishes


  3. We usually only state “That is correct” as correct answer feedback in our tests. For wrong answer feedback I see two types used: a statement of the correct answer OR a statement of the correct answer and the reasoning/calculation behind it. I have never seen feedback where only the reasoning/calculation method is given but not the exact answer. Maybe that would be a good idea to implement though. Another thought provoking post. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: e-assessment (f)or learning » Blog Archive » Learning from failure

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