The impact of positive feedback on student outcomes and perceptions

Emily Faulconer, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
John Griffith, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Amy Gruss, Kennesaw State University


High quality feedback on assessments and deliverables is vital to student success. This pilot study sought to understand the impact of combining positive and performance-gap feedback in an immediate feedback scenario where students were provided multiple attempts to complete an assignment. 176 online undergraduate students were surveyed after completing a general inorganic chemistry course. Some students were provided performance-gap feedback, while others were provided performance-gap and positive feedback. The results suggest that type of feedback provided does not change students’ perceptions and self-reported behaviors in the course. However, students who were provided both performance-gap and positive feedback received an average of an entire letter grade higher than the students who received only performance-gap feedback. These findings support the idea that a combination of feedback has a direct positive impact on students in an online setting.