Infusing Feedback to Students with Growth Mindset Messaging

Feedback is an important aspect of promoting a growth mindset. By providing and receiving constructive feedback, learners and instructors can identify areas for improvement and underscore a classroom culture that underscores the growth mindset. Feedback that is constructive, honest, and focused on improvement helps establish high standards as well as a nurturing atmosphere for learners. Growth-minded instructors will provide honest assessments of student work whilst providing the tools needed to close the gap between current performance and desired performance.

Verbal feedback may be provided during lectures, formative activities, formative assessments, as well as for summative assessments. In fact, instructors should provide numerous opportunities for students to receive feedback in multiple modes and throughout the semester. It would be particularly challenging for students to espouse a growth mindset ideology in a course that offers no opportunities for formative assessment; providing feedback that underscores a growth mindset is equally crucial during both formative and summative assessments.

Whether an instructor is providing informal verbal feedback or more structured, written formal feedback located in a rubric or other scoring mechanism, instructors should consider how their feedback may be interpreted by students and how it may (or may not) foster the development of a growth mindset. Below, you will see a diagram of a constructive feedback loop that would support student learning and promote a growth mindset.

This cycle of feedback can be utilized throughout a course, given that the curriculum provides many opportunities for instructors to provide feedback. Instructors may provide feedback through the use of:

  • Open-ended prompts
  • Authentic assessments
  • Multiple drafts
  • Practice and feedback drills

Regardless of the assessment method used, the feedback provided should always be framed with growth mindset language.

Tech Tip

Did you know that in addition to providing rubrics and written feedback in Blackboard instructors can also provide recorded feedback as well? Here is a link to a helpful resource about adding media to Assignment Feedback. Providing audio and/or visual feedback on an assessment such as an essay, presentation, etc. can help instructors convey a tone of support and simultaneously grant them the means to highlight how a student may continue to grow academically in the course.