Guest Contributor: Jason Chu, Turnitin.

According to feedback guru Grant Wiggins, feedback “is central to all learning, whether by young students or veteran teachers.” In a session delivered during last year’s Student Success Week virtual conference (10/28-11/1/13) hosted by Turnitin, Wiggins drew attention to the importance of providing quality feedback—as a part of effective instruction–and how best to deliver “true” feedback to students. Last year’s Student Success Week conference was thematically focused on approaches to promoting and providing student feedback that is “feed forward” and formative, rather than “feedback,” which can often times have a post-mortem feel (that is, after the grade has been delivered and at the end of a term).

Some additional session highlights from last year’s conference include:

  • A presentation by Nancy Doorey (K-12 Center at ETS) who shared approaches for developing effective formative assessments that align with the Common Core State Standards;
  • Elizabeth Jones’ (Notre Dame of Maryland University) look at how to use rubric-generated data to generate course-level assessments to help drive program-level improvement;
  • A session on using web-based technology to deliver formative feedback in online learning environments by Melody Pickle (Kaplan University Writing Center).

This year, Student Success Week falls on the week of October 6th and runs to October 10th.  Our conference theme for 2014 is “Common Standards | Uncommon Feedback.” The opening session will be a special conversation with noted education reformer, E.D. Hirsch, Jr. who will discuss the teaching of vocabulary and how vocabulary size relates to social inequality.  Also on the conference schedule is a session with Wayne Camara, Senior Vice President of Research at ACT who will discuss the place of feedback in high-stakes assessment. Cengage Learning has also sponsored a session by Zandree Stidham that will discuss how gamification approaches can impact student motivation, engagement, and even assessment.

There will also be a session on student “feed back”—where we will share out results of a survey of over 3,000 students that asked for their input on what constitutes effective feedback.  There will be ten virtual sessions in total.  Sessions run 45 minutes in length, and all of the sessions are free and open to anyone to attend.

For more information about the conference, to register, or to see some of the archived sessions from last year, please visit: //

We hope that you’ll join us for Student Success Week 2014!


Cengage Learning is proud to sponsor the session “The Gamification of Learning: Producing Tighter, More Timely Feedback for Increase Student Success,” featuring presenter Zandree Stidham, PhD., during Turnitin’s Student Success Week. Join us Tuesday, October 7 at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific.