What to Include in Feedback Throughout a Formative Test

When authoring a formative test question in Surpass, you are given the option to include feedback which can be viewed by candidates throughout or after the test. You have the option to choose between giving General Feedback, which will display the same feedback to all candidates, regardless of what answer they chose or you can choose to give tailored Correct and Incorrect Feedback. If you choose to tailor your feedback you will create two different sets of feedback, one to display to candidates who answered a question correctly and one to display to candidates who answered the question incorrectly.

Remember: If you choose to give General Feedback, the candidates will have access to the same feedback regardless of whether they achieved a correct or an incorrect answer. This means that the feedback will need to be neutral with the information it provides.

Explain WHY the answer is correct/ Reinforce the candidate's answer

If you chose to give correct and incorrect feedback, you may wish to begin your feedback by stating if the candidate answered the question correctly or incorrectly.  It would then be good practice to state the correct answer to the question in a short sentence/summary if possible.  This will reinforce the fact to the candidate, helping to ensure they can answer a similar question correctly in future tests. Making the candidate aware of the correct answer to a question may however only be an element of the feedback you provide to the candidates. The most vital thing to do is to ensure the candidates are aware of why the answer is correct. This can be achieved by providing additional information supplementary to the correct answer – possibly a short piece of dialogue explaining the background of the answer.

Example 1) General Feedback

Question: Who was Henry VIII’s third wife?

Feedback: Jane Seymour

Henry VIII had six wives during his reign as King of England from 1509 until his death. Jane Seymour was the third wife in this succession and followed Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, both of whom Henry had the marriages annulled. Jane Seymour’s death came after the birth of her first child and she was the only of Henry’s wives to receive a proper Queen’s burial.

Example 2) Correct Feedback

Well Done! You answered this question correctly. 

Henry VIII had six wives during his reign as King of England from 1509 until his death.

Direct the candidate to helpful sites/articles

There is usually background and contextual knowledge necessary to aid a candidate in developing their knowledge of the question topic. An effective way to aid a candidate in having sufficient knowledge to answer a question at this stage is to lead them towards to the next steps in learning the correct material. This can be achieved by adding useful book citations and relevant links to websites or articles on the internet.

Example 1)

Related Texts: 

WEIR, A. (1992). The six wives of Henry VIII. New York, Grove Weidenfeld. (Part Three)

Add Relevant Media

You will have the option to add media to your feedback; ensure to keep the media relevant and applicable toward what you want to communicate to the candidates. If the answer to a question is Henry VIII then it would be arbitrary to include a picture of general royalty, however an image of Henry VIII may help fix the information in the candidate’s mind more than simply words alone; this is dependent on the candidate’s learning style.

Click here to read about the importance of relevance when including images in a test.  

Remember: You may only add one embedded media item per feedback page and one source item.

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For further information, visit the Feedback Surpass Help page.

Feedback and Knowledge Base