How useful is generic feedback?


I tend to do two things when I mark work.  Round the edge of a piece of written work, I write comments that apply specifically to that piece of work.  At the end of the work, I set general targets, intended to provide guidance for when the student is doing their next piece of work.  To illustrate, let’s consider this History IGCSE essay question: ‘How far was the Treaty of Versailles fair?’.  Say that the student has written the following: ‘The Treaty of Versailles was unfair because Germany’s army was reduced to 100, 000 men, she was not allowed an airforce and she was only allowed 6 naval cruisers and no submarines.  She also wasn’t allowed to station troops in the Rhineland.  This was unfair because the Rhineland was still German territory and they should have been able to decide exactly where to put their own troops in their own…

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