Feedback refers to information or instruction relating to the performed task that fills a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood. Feedback can be provided by an agent such as a teacher, peer, book, parent, self, or experience.

Different types of feedback serve different purposes. Here at Pioneer, we use formative feedback as part of our university admissions consultancy, study skills, and editing services. The main purpose of our formative feedback is to enable learners to achieve learning objectives as they progress through their assigned tasks (e.g. writing a personal statement). Research has shown that formative feedback reduces knowledge gaps, and improves student learning, and subsequent academic performance. 

Here at Pioneer, our formative feedback covers three important questions: 1) where am I going? (What are my learning goals?), 2) how am I going? (What progress is being made toward the goals?), and 3) where to go next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?). These three questions correspond to the idea of feed up, feedback, and feed forward respectively. In other words, Pioneer’s formative feedback comprises feed-up, feedback, and feed-forward. Together, they fill a gap between what is understood and what is aimed to be understood. An example of writing a personal statement for a university application would clarify the effectiveness of our formative feedback.

For example, the goal of writing a personal statement for a university application is to justify one’s suitability for the course s/he is applying for. To keep the writing in line with the goal, we provide the required content of the statement — a feed-up approach. The goal and the content of the statement cover the first question: where am I going? (What are my goals?). Such a ‘feed up’ approach informs applicants about what is expected from them. When applicants write their first draft, they get written comments about their personal statements’ progress — a ‘feedback’ approach. The comment about the progression covers the second question: how am I going? (What progress is being made toward the goal?).

When applicants write their second draft of their statement, we provide them with a review checklist called the ‘Personal Statement Review Checklist’. The checklist helps applicants review the required activities for better progress — a ‘feed forward’ approach. The review checklist mainly covers the third question: where to go next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?). The ongoing process of formative feedback (feed-up, feedback, and feed-forward) helps applicants write high-quality personal statements. 

Overall, the purpose of formative feedback is to reduce the gap between the current and desired understandings of a learner. Here at Pioneer, our mission is simple: “to prepare you as a successful university learner.” Our formative feedback is an effective learning tool to support your higher education transition.  Should you have any queries, please contact us at support@pioneeredu.co.uk