feed forward

The distinction between feedback and feedforward is one observation made in the JISC report: Using technology to support learner longitudinal development. html


Supporting the longitudinal development of learners means moving away from assessment of, to assessment for, learning and typically involves a change in the balance of assessment activities away from summative assessment to a greater emphasis on formative assessment.

Feed forward is equally important to learners’ progress: while feedback focuses on current performance (and may simply justify the grade awarded), feed forward looks ahead to the next assignment, offering constructive guidance on how to do better in future work. A combination of the two ensures that assessment has an effective developmental impact on learning (provided the student has the opportunity and support to develop their own evaluative skills in order to use the feedback effectively).


While the report and related research is on student assessment by humans, not machines, the complexity of the issues raised hints at the skills that will need to be automated before teaching machines truly excel.