Feedback Proformas

Why not give assignments, homeworks, classwork etc with a feedback proforma like these, (only with more space).  This helps the teacher give learning-focussed rather than grading-focussed feedback.  Such proformas are not new, but are under-used.  Make sure they are bigger than shown to allow space for writing.

Generic assessment criteria

Here, as an example, is a set of negotiated criteria used to assess essays.  Any generic skill could be developed in the same way, e.g. electronic circuit design, painting, lab report writing, etc.

Ask students for criteria first.  They will come up with most of them, and will then really ‘own’ them.  Follow this with a discussion on which criteria really count and why.  This is very helpful to clarify good practice and your expectations. Each criterion needs to be discussed, explained, and justified to the class. (I do not pretend that the criteria below are the only, or the best criteria for essay writing, you must decide your own!)

Criteria are then used repeatedly, perhaps for every essay written on the course.  Students hand in the work already self-assessed, then the teacher assesses against the same criteria.  Ideally no grade is awarded, or if it is, it is given some weeks after this informative feedback.  Black and Wiliam’s research review shows that if you grade students pay attention only to this, and don’t read your feedback.

Ruth Beard in “Teaching in Higher Education” claims that such generic criteria greatly improve importance over a course even without self-assessment.  Black and Wiliam showed that self-assessment and informative feedback were amongst the most important things a teacher did.

The following grids should all be much bigger in practice, to allow more space for comments.


* Black and Wiliam (1998) “Assessment and Classroom Learning” in the journal Assessment in Education.

**See separate handout for explanation on mastery tasks

read also “Inside the black box” at:


Essay writing assessment proforma

Title:                                                                     Name:

Criteria Self-assessment Teacher assessment

Did you relate each of your arguments to the essay question?


Did you give arguments both ‘for’ and ‘against’ both:

·         The proposition in the essay question?

·         Any major points or conclusions you made?


Did you give enough evidence, examples, and illustrations for each of your arguments?


Did you prioritise the arguments for and against, and evaluate them?


Did you draw a justified conclusion related directly to the essay title?


Main strengths

Improvements needed for this


Targets for the next essay

Self assessed target:


Maths Assessment

Exercise:                                             Name:

Assessment criteria
Teacher, peer, or self-assessment

Methods: aim to make these appropriate, and as simple or elegant as possible.


Methods justified

The principles or formulae used are made clear


Working: aim to make working clear; complete; easy to follow; stating principles or formulae used where necessary.


Care taken: aim to check your work for errors, and present work neatly.


Main strengths



P                  It’s okay if you don’t fully understand a concept first time, learning takes time.

P                  If this work is graded, aim to beat your own record, not someone else’s

P                  what counts is whether you understand the problem and solution, not whether you made any silly slips

P                  If you got something wrong that’s fine.  It’s how we learn. 

P                  You will learn from mistakes if you find out how to do it without mistakes next time, and really understand this.

Corrective work on this exercise

(Find someone with an A for …….. and ask them to show and explain their work.)

Target for your next piece of work


Freely based on ‘Using Assessment to Raise Achievement in Mathematics’ QCA Nov 2001



Opportunities for Development


General Comments


Below are examples of assignment-specific assessment proformas:

Assessment Criteria 

Strengths and development

Plan for improving Health                                      and


I like your ideas on diet exercise and entertainment.  Most points well covered.

A well designed table! Some rest would help. Read assignment brief carefully!                                                

Purpose for this plan                                      

You explain this well referring to evidence.  Quite the best bit of your assignment.

General Comments. 

I notice some of your work is neater, keep this up.

Student’s goals:

Be better at checking my spelling


You have definitely achieved an improvement here Simon.


Student assessment

Teacher assessment

A diagram of the heart:

accurate, neat, and

correctly labelled


Explanation of how the

heart works:

valve sequence, and bloodflow.


General comments


Vocational Skills – Care

Self-assessment of key criteria for written work

Below is a list of some of the most important skills needed when completing any written tasks.  These skills will help you achieve your Care Modules and will also help you in the future whenever you need to find out information for yourself and present it well.

Please think about each skill carefully and assess how well you think you do.  Then score each one as follows

Red:                 Needs improving

Amber:             Average/okay

Green:              good.





Teacher assessment

Neat writing


Correct spelling


Using paragraphs


Using only relevant information


Writing in your own words


Using the library


Using computers and the internet


Keeping a record of sources of information eg. books, internet sites, etc.


Finding pictures, articles, leaflets, etc to add interest to your work


Handing work in on time


Which of these skills do you need to improve most?

Learning Target for next piece of work:

Assessment of Writing Skills

Please think about each skill carefully and assess how well you think you do.  Then score each one as follows. Please hand in your plan with your finished work.


Self Assessment




I think

I did

I did

Teacher Assessment



Used sentences well


Used paragraphs well


Used verbs well


Proof read


Used capital letters well


Used full stops and commas well






Appropriate style


Answered the question


Good conclusion