Neurodivergent Specific Feedback
Feedback is an essential part of the learning process, and it is important to relay information in a way that is accessible to neurodivergent students. Here are some suggestions about feedback comments that can support neurodivergent students:
- Acknowledge the students use of an SPLD labels on their assessed work in their feedback. These labels are supplied by Disability Services and highlight that the student has a specific learning condition – this may be placed at the start or at the end of the assessment
- Many neurodivergent students struggle with spelling and grammar. While this is more common for students with dyslexia and/or dyscalculia, students with other conditions may also have difficulties.
- When giving feedback about spelling or grammar, ensure you are clear that comments are constructive, and intended for the student’s awareness rather than to indicate the impact on marks – these issues should not result in students receiving a lower grade for their assessment (see the "University Guidance" box below).
- Avoid abstract terms – stick to clear, specific concrete points for students to work on. Some students may find it easier to use their feedback if it is provided in a concise format, such as a bulleted list, with key areas to work on highlighted.
- If possible, consider other methods of giving feedback, such as one-to-one or audio, and emphasis opportunities to meet to discuss feedback and check understanding in more detail if needed
- For students with ADHD, rejection sensitivity (difficulty with receiving negative feedback – see Bedrossian, 2021Link opens in a new window) can be a particular barrier to engaging with their feedback – You can mitigate this by framing your feedback with compassion and a positive tone.
- Students with neurodiversity may have more issues with organisation and time management which may affect the presentation of their work – compassionate comments on how to work on these issues is advised, and it may be helpful to signpost to the library’s Productivity ToolsLink opens in a new window.
Student Experiences on Assessment and Feedback
Animation Created by Robyn Ellison
Calvin Deans-Browne and Dr. Jagjet Jutley-Neilson created a feedback guide for undergraduate students to help them best utilise the feedback given to them.
This guide may be a helpful resource to signpost your students too.
Classroom Discussion Assessment and Reflection [pdf]Link opens in a new window Adrienne Christiansen, Macalester College