The aim of providing feedback to students in secondary education is to give students insight into their performance, both with regard to their learning and their behavior. Feedback consists of information given to the student about the performance achieved. This can be done through a grade, through an individual or group discussion or, for example, through comments on the work done. At least as important is the feedback on the process that underlies the performance delivered. The feedback is then about expectations of the student and the teacher, about approach and behavior, but also about aspects such as language use, accuracy, etc. This feedback is only possible in an individual conversation. It is essential that the teacher finds a good balance between engaging and positioning, so that he can encourage the student to actively process it. Performance and the process that underlies it are closely related.

Direct feedback to the individual student

The advantage of this is that the student receives specific information about his qualities and mistakes. Research shows that individual feedback has a positive influence on motivation.

Indirect feedback to the entire class
This is important to introduce students to each other's expectations, approach and behavior and to the expectations, behavior and approach of the teacher. It challenges students to think about their own expectations, approach and behavior. It also provides a good starting point for individual feedback. The only effective way to provide feedback in secondary education is verbally. Written feedback, with the exception of a grade or scores, is not read. This applies even more to digital feedback. Adolescents don't do anything with this.

The purpose of feedback is to make learning more efficient by encouraging students to recognize and use their qualities and to correct their mistakes. Feedback is more effective if it encourages active processing of the results. Feedback must also be tailored to the individual student. The teacher must know his students. Feedback should be about a student's current state of affairs. Feedback is always threefold. It is about mutual expectations, about approach and behavior and about formal aspects such as language, attitude, accuracy, etc. Essentially, feedback must be given as soon as possible after a certain incident or test. However, it is good to structurally build in moments for individual and group feedback during a semester. Students' motivation is undermined if they do not receive feedback after a certain activity. Motivation always involves reward in some way. Feedback is also a form of reward. Positive feedback is therefore usually motivating. Feedback can also have a debilitating effect if it is given after every correct answer to a task that is too easy. It gives the students the idea that the teacher does not have a high opinion of them.

Student perception

The effect of feedback is highly dependent on the student's perception. Feedback is especially effective if it is given, for example, to correct behavior that the student is not aware of as being wrong. If a student knows that his behavior is wrong, sanctions are much more effective than feedback. Adolescents are more sensitive to positive feedback than negative feedback. While negative feedback is often ignored, disappointment hits adolescents very hard. Disappointment occurs when the student expects a positive outcome, but that expectation is not met. Disappointment causes emotions such as anger, sadness and rejection. Adolescents are less able than adults to inhibit their feelings and behavior. Such situations give rise to a conversation in which the teacher directs the student to evaluate his approach and reflect on his attitude and behavior. Sometimes the teacher must clearly set a limit, for example: “I will not accept a failure from you for this work!” The role of the teacher is not to explicitly teach the student to evaluate or reflect, but to use an event in reality to direct and guide the student in his reflection and evaluation. Adolescent brains are not yet able to plan, prioritize, recognize mistakes or estimate their own capabilities and that is why they cannot properly evaluate, reflect and direct themselves. It is very confusing for many adolescents to hear that they can solve a problem in different ways and that they can choose a route themselves. The risk that they do not learn any route properly is very high. The most disastrous thing you can say to an adolescent is: “There are several possibilities: in A this could happen, in B you have to take this into account and what do you think C means? The choice is yours."