Kind Critiquing

Feedback that is timely, specific, actionable, and positive kind critiquing can increase students motivation to go further and deeper in their learning.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

When reviewing student work, the educator provides positive feedback with an encouraging tone at the right time and place and with specific, relevant, and actionable next steps. Feedback can include messages such as “I really like . . . I wonder,” with the “wonder” providing possibilities for improving.

Method Components

During an activity, lesson, or discussion, the educator provides students with specific, actionable, and positive feedback. In doing this, the teacher feeds improvements to student motivation and learning and highlights these learning gains through a group discussion. This can be done individually, in small groups, or in whole-group instruction.

Characteristics of supportive feedback

When reviewing an example of student work (writing, design, plan, presentation, artifact, or other item), it’s most effective to provide supportive feedback with the specific characteristics. These characteristics also apply to feedback students give to other students.

  • The feedback is timely and relevant to the student - The student is ready and wants to receive the feedback and there is time to incorporate it in the next draft or version of the work.
  • The critique is given in a safe environment - Take into account students’ sensitivities to their work being critiqued and consider the level of privacy in giving feedback.
  • The review begins with specific praise for parts of the work that are done well, using words such as “I really like . . .” or “I’m really impressed with . . .”, followed by comments on areas for improvement with words like, “I wonder . . . “, or “It might be helpful to . . . .”
  • The feedback should be specific to concrete aspects of the work being reviewed, not a sweeping statement about the whole student’s ongoing work quality, and the advice given should be actionable within the time remaining for the work to be completed or be framed as evaluative “lessons learned” advice that can be applied to the next learning project or activity.
  • The critique should be given with an encouraging tone that offers a growth-oriented mindset message that the student can and will improve with a bit more effort (see the Growth Mindset micro-credential).

Suggested preparation

Students discuss the kinds of feedback and critiques they think have been most useful and effective for them and make a list of the criteria they think lead to more effective and motivating critiques.

Suggested review

Students discuss how their feedback and critiquing strategies have changed and the effects they observe on the receivers of kind critiquing and thoughtful feedback.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Feedback is one of the most powerful tools for learning; research shows that feedback is most effective when it clearly relates to student's own learning goals, is timely, specific (about the task, the process, self-direction, or personal approaches), actionable, kind, and encouraging.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Activity Description: What kind of project activities did you and your students engage in to become more proficient in giving kind critiques? Please describe the learning activities and strategies you used.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your students increased their proficiency by engaging in the kind critiquing activities and what evidence did you collect that demonstrates these learning gains?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit work examples from two students (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, and other media) that demonstrate progress toward the kind critiquing competency, including such items as examples of critiques given, evidence of the effects of effective feedback on student motivation and learning, examples of kind critiquing among students, and other relevant items.

Part 3. Student reflections

For the two students whose work examples were included above, submit student-created reflections on their experience of the kind critiquing activities. Use the following questions as a guide (200-word limit for each reflection):

  • How did the kind critiquing activities help you come up with better thought-out, supportive, and useful feedback?
  • How did the kind critiquing strategies change your view of the value of giving and receiving feedback on learning?

Part 4. Teacher reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

  • What was the impact of engaging your students in the kind critiquing activity?
  • How will experiencing these project activities shape your daily teaching practice in the future?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Kind Critiquing
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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