How Does Formative, Written Feedback Help Students Improve Their Geographical Writing, pp. 6 of 17

The intervention design extends beyond this cover page. The actual task (Appendix 1) is an extended writing essay assignment where students were required to research, plan and draft an extended essay answering one of two given questions. These questions dealt with the topic of climate change, which they had started to explore since the beginning of the school year[iii]. The task was meant for students to demonstrate not only understanding of the issues and concepts related to the topic, but also an ability to discuss these issues geographically. Accordingly, the written feedback from the teachers would address not only conceptual issues but also the importance of invoking the geographical concepts of place, space, scale and human-environment interactions, The flow of the learning intervention is inspired by Margaret Roberts’ framework for learning through inquiry with a focus on writing (Figure 2).

As detailed in Appendix 1, attached with the assignment was a list of guiding questions to help students unpack the questions, as well as a copy of the rubrics used to assess the students. The idea was to be as transparent as possible with the assessment criteria so that students can work towards their intended level of attainment. A pre-task preparatory lesson to help students unpack the questions and clarify the assessment rubrics was also carried out.

A summary table of the lesson intervention, which shows the time frame and sequence of the assignment, as well as the documents and artefacts involved, can be seen in Table 1 below.



Execution Date

Documents and Artefacts[iv]


Announcement and administration of assignment

Term 1 Week 5

  • Assignment Worksheet Package


Preparatory Lesson

Term 1 Week 5

  • Lesson Slides


Collection of first Draft and commencement of marking

Term 1 Week 9



Release of written feedback for first draft and overall verbal review

Term 2 Week 1

  • Written feedback cover page


Collection and marking of final submission

Term 2 Week 5


Related Teaching Materials

Annex419.06 KB

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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