Corrective feedback

Corrective feedback for e-learnings

At a time when the world of work is becoming increasingly digital and the Corona pandemic is severely limiting face-to-face teaching, e-learning is becoming increasingly important in companies. One of the key challenges in e-learning is providing feedback to learners. In particular, corrective feedback that addresses errors and weaknesses can help learners improve their competencies and skills. This article explains the principles and benefits of corrective feedback in e-learning and provides recommendations for implementation.

What is corrective feedback?

It is a form of feedback that refers to the learner’s mistakes or weaknesses. It is used to show the learner where they can improve and how they can do so. Corrective feedback can be formulated both positively and negatively. In contrast, supportive feedback refers to the learner’s strengths.

Why is it important?

It is important because it allows the learner to identify and improve their weaknesses. If a learner receives only positive feedback, it can lead to overestimating their level of performance and lacking motivation to improve. Corrective feedback, on the other hand, shows where the learner still has deficits and what steps they can take to address them. Corrective feedback thus makes the learning process more effective.

The advantages in e-learning

The advantages in e-learning are obvious. Learners can identify their weaknesses and improve them in a targeted manner. This leads to a more effective learning process and higher motivation to learn. In addition, corrective feedback can also help learners learn faster because they spend less time on incorrect answers as a result of error correction.

Recommendations for the implementation of corrective feedback in e-learnings
For corrective feedback to be effective in e-learning, some recommendations should be followed:

1. define clear goals
Before learners receive feedback, clear goals for the learning process should be defined. This is the only way to target feedback to improve learning objectives.

2. identify errors
In order to provide corrective feedback to learners, errors must be identified. Tasks in which learners work interactively with the learning material are particularly suitable for this.

3. formulate constructively
Feedback should always be formulated constructively. It should not be taken as a criticism of the learner, but as an indication of how the learning process occurs.

4. provide timely feedback
It should be given promptly so as not to delay the learning process and to be able to implement the error correction directly.

5. respond to individual needs
It should always be tailored to the individual needs of the learner. Here, the previous knowledge and the learning speed of the learner can be addressed.

6. integrate feedback process
It should be integrated into a feedback process that takes place regularly and thus enables a continuous learning process.

When is corrective feedback bad?

When we receive feedback, we usually expect it to help us improve and grow. However, corrective feedback can also be harmful if it is not given correctly or is misunderstood.

Why can corrective feedback be bad?

Although it can help improve behavior or performance, it can also be harmful if not given properly or misunderstood. Here are some reasons:

Be misunderstood
Feedback can be misunderstood if it is unclear or unspecific. Not making it clear what is wrong and how it can be improved can lead to confusion and frustration. It is important that this is precise and concrete so that the recipient understands what exactly is wrong and how to correct it.

Be too negative
Corrective feedback can also be too negative if it focuses only on the wrong and not on the positive. If feedback is only aimed at correcting mistakes without mentioning the positive, this can lead to low self-esteem and demotivation. It is important that feedback is balanced and addresses both the positive and the negative.

Be ineffective
Corrective feedback can also be ineffective if it does not fit the situation or the person. It is important that feedback is tailored to the individual situation and person in order to be effective. General feedback cannot help to fix the problem.

Be late
Corrective feedback can also come too late if it is not given in a timely manner. If the feedback is late, it can be difficult to fix the problem, and it can lead to frustration on the part of the recipient.

How to avoid bad feedback?

There are a few ways to avoid bad corrective feedback:

1. be precise and concrete
It is important that feedback is precise and specific so that the recipient understands what exactly is wrong and how to correct it.

2. be balanced
It is important that feedback is balanced and addresses both the positive and the negative.

3. be situational
Feedback should be tailored to the individual situation and person to be effective.

4. be timely
Feedback should be provided in a timely manner to effectively address the issue.

5. be constructive
Feedback should be constructive and help the recipient improve and grow.

6. be empathic
It is important that feedback is empathetic and responsive to the feelings and needs of the recipient.

7. be at eye level
Feedback should be given at eye level to promote open and respectful communication.


Corrective feedback can be a useful tool to improve behavior or performance. However, it can also be harmful if not given correctly or misunderstood. To avoid bad feedback, feedback should be accurate, balanced, situational, timely, constructive, empathetic, and at eye level.