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Sandwich feedback: The empirical evidence of its effectiveness



This experiment tests the effectiveness of "sandwich" feedback. 91 university students solved 12 mathematical problems from the secondary-school curriculum. After the time limit, we assigned them randomly to one of three possible treatments. One group received corrective computer-administrated feedback, describing the mistakes with their methods and solutions. The second group received sandwich feedback, consisting of the same corrective part presented between two general positive statements unrelated to the participants' actual performance. The third group did not receive any feedback. Afterwards, the participants had 10 minutes to prepare for the second set of similar problems. Participants who received sandwich feedback utilized more time on preparation and solved more problems from the second set than the participants from the other two groups. This study provides only partial evidence for the effectiveness of sandwich feedbacks as it tested the effect under one specific condition using computer-mediated written feedback on math test. Further replications are needed to test the effect under various conditions, to test various forms of sandwich feedback, to explain the mechanism of sandwich feedback and to show whether the effect of sandwich feedback is caused by the specific sequence of feedback components or by mere presence of positive statements.
Sandwich feedback: The empirical evidence of its effectiveness
Jakub Prochazkaa,b*, Martin Ovcaria and Michal Durinika,c
aDepartment of Corporate Economy, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic;
bDepartment of Psychology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; cMacquarie
Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Australia
*Corresponding author. Department of Corporate Economy, Faculty of Economics and
Administration, Masaryk University, Lipova 41a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic,
This experiment tests the effectiveness of "sandwich" feedback. 91 university
students solved 12 mathematical problems from the secondary-school curriculum. After
the time limit, we assigned them randomly to one of three possible treatments. One
group received corrective computer-administrated feedback, describing the mistakes
with their methods and solutions. The second group received sandwich feedback,
consisting of the same corrective part presented between two general positive
statements unrelated to the participants’ actual performance. The third group did not
receive any feedback. Afterwards, the participants had 10 minutes to prepare for the
second set of similar problems. Participants who received sandwich feedback utilized
more time on preparation and solved more problems from the second set than the
participants from the other two groups. This study provides only partial evidence for the
effectiveness of sandwich feedbacks as it tested the effect under one specific condition
using computer-mediated written feedback on math test. Further replications are needed
to test the effect under various conditions, to test various forms of sandwich feedback,
to explain the mechanism of sandwich feedback and to show whether the effect of
sandwich feedback is caused by the specific sequence of feedback components or by
mere presence of positive statements.
Keywords: feedback, sandwich feedback, task performance, experiment
How to cite:
Prochazka, J., Ovcari, M., Durinik, M. (2020), Sandwich feedback: The empirical
evidence of its effectiveness, Learning and Motivation, 71, 101649,
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... Using class time for active learning, compared to lectures, provides opportunities for greater teacher-to-student mentoring, peer-topeer collaboration and cross-disciplinary engagement (DeLozier & Rhodes, 2016). The sandwich feedback model forms one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement through constructive feedback (Prochazka et al., 2020). Criterion referenced assessment has been used in the process of evaluating (and grading) the learning of students against a set of pre-specified qualities or criteria. ...
... Sandwich model was used in giving feedback were the feedback started with positives and then action-based criticism and again positives for the student (Prochazka, 2020) Strategies and methods stated above were applied and the final outcome was observed and recorded. Additionally, student progress too was observed and monitored throughout the implementation process. ...
Conference Paper
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Students lack skills on self-preparation as they often come to the class unprepared, mainly due to lack of self-directed learning and not being able to realise its adverse impacts on themselves. Hence, it was undertaken to study how skills on self-preparation can be developed. Once developed, they would contribute to improve the students' performance, both in the personal and professional life. First, eight students of Computing Higher National Diploma Level were motivated by communicating the importance of developing the self-preparation skill. Students were educated on the intended learning outcomes (ILOs) of the Professional Practice module and how ILOs are evaluated, by utilising Bloom's taxonomy. For students to experience self-preparation skill development, in-class Teaching Learning Activities (TLAs) related to SQ4R reading method and Cornell note-taking methods were used. TLAs were implemented so that students carried out preparatory practices of reading appropriate sections and performing TLA related tasks such as note-taking and reviewing. In-class activities were implemented using flipped classroom strategies (discussion-oriented, demonstration-oriented) and feedback was given using the sandwich model. Criterion-referencing was used to evaluate students' activities against the predetermined criteria of ILOs. Out of eight students, 62.5% completed the in-class TLAs. Compared to 100% unprepared students before implementing the TLAs, 37.5% came self-prepared for the subsequent sessions. Questionnaire revealed that 50% of the students perceived clear communication of ILOs along with assessment criteria, use of SQ4R method, flipped classroom strategies and sandwich feedback method as having been beneficial. 37.5% indicated the use of Cornell method, criterion referenced assessment method had contributed to develop their self-preparation skill. Above strategies and methods had been very useful for students to develop their self-directed learning skills that were observed through student activities as well as student perceptions obtained via the questionnaire. It is recommended to continue practicing the said methods and to extend to a larger student number to further validate that improvements take place in students' self-development skill.
... • relevant (se adresează realizărilor, nevoilor și intereselor specifice ale elevilor și profesorilor ca și comportamente specifice de învăţare şi predare); • imediat (este furnizat de îndată ce devin disponibile informații despre performanța elevilor și profesorilor); • faptic (este bazat pe rezultatele reale ale elevilor -performanța la un test, o temă sau proiect și comportamentele observabile ale procesului de instruire realizat de profesor); • util (oferă sugestii pentru îmbunătățirea predării și învățării); • confidențial (este dat direct elevului sau profesorului fără intermediar); • personalizat (este conceput pentru a satisface nevoile specifice, circumstanțiale, ale elevului sau profesorului); • încurajator (motivează elevul pentru învățare și profesorul să continue să-și îmbunătățească predarea). Dintre metodele consacrate de oferire a feedback-ului, metoda Sandwich este probabil cea mai utilizată (Prochazka et al., 2020). Metoda presupune oferirea feedback-ului în trei pași: apreciere -critică -apreciere. ...
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Prezentul ghid este ediția actualizată a "Ghidului de resurse educaționale și digitale pentru instruire online" ( apărut în 2021. Ghidul este distribuit sub licență CC BY BY-SA. (c) 2022 Editura Universității de Vest din Timișoara pentru prezenta ediție. Colecția Amfiteatru, Seria Pedagogie
... There are many models of this or similar approaches, but all rely on offering students a positive comment about their work before offering suggestions for how to improve the submission, followed by another positive comment. Prochazka et al. (2020) found this to be an effective tool for feedback. We used the sandwich feedback approach where possible and incorporated more positive feedback into student comments to balance critically constructive feedback. ...
... Praise can bolster learners' self-efficacy by serving as positive social persuasion, thereby increasing their self-efficacy and encouraging them to revisit their work (e.g., Dahling & Ruppel, 2016). Additionally, statements of praise before and after a corrective feedback statement ("compliment sandwich") not only improved learners' subsequent task performance but also increased time spent preparing for a post-feedback task, suggesting that the inclusion of praise may invite learners to reflect on how to improve their approach to the task (Prochazka et al., 2020). However, compliment sandwiches are not universally effective, as the praise provided in the "bread" can be viewed as inauthentic or as obfuscating the substantive suggestions (the "filling") presented in the feedback . ...
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When a learner receives feedback, important motivational and emotional processes are triggered that control whether and how the learner reengages in a learning activity and successfully adjusts in response to what the feedback suggests. We aim to highlight how motivation and emotion processes influence feedback effectiveness, and how our theoretical understanding of the feedback process depends on appreciating the affective precursors, concomitants, and consequences of feedback. To query the literature, interrogate theories of academic motivation and emotion, and identify central motivational and emotional factors associated with feedback, we use a five-question framework: What does the feedback mean to me? How do I feel about the feedback? Can I improve from the feedback? Do I want to improve from the feedback? Am I supported by others or by the context in dealing with feedback? A conceptual review of empirically grounded and theory-driven interpretations accompanies each question to inform practice and research.
... Using a compliment sandwich in which the valuable critical or corrective elements of the message are sandwiched between praise may be a way of softening the impact of corrective feedback, but this sequence of leading and ending with praise may obscure important information needed to improve performance (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996;Molloy et al., 2018). There is no consensus in the literature regarding the meat of the sandwich (Prochazka et al., 2020). Should correction or criticism simply provide information about the learner's performance relative to the identified standard? ...
Purpose The intent of this tutorial is to promote speech-language pathology clinical educators' professional knowledge of feedback as a pedagogical intervention. This tutorial was formatted to enhance an educator's effectiveness in implementing feedback to promote professional growth for speech-language pathology students, new graduates, and those learning new skills. Special attention is given to the use of feedback in the supervisory conference. Method Online databases were used to complete a focused literature review to identify current trends and evidence for using feedback in clinical education. Discussion The construct of feedback, corrective feedback, and the sequencing of feedback are described. Feedback as a teaching tool in clinical education settings is often characterized as a learning conversation grounded in adult learning theory. Comparisons between feedback, adult learning theory, and various pedagogical approaches will be drawn. This tutorial highlights the interpersonal nature of feedback and explains how giving and receiving feedback are influenced by the cognitive and affective states of both the educator and the learner. Examples of utilizing feedback in various situations are provided to promote generalization between the tutorial and the reader's daily work. Conclusion Recommendations for the use of feedback to inform the next steps in research and educational implementation are provided.
... Students received constructive feedback in the sandwich method, whereby areas for improvement are situated between two pieces of positive feedback. This method has been shown to improve students' performances as they are able to follow through and act on both positive and corrective feedback (Prochazka, Ovcari, and Durinik 2020). The task, outcomes and skills gained were discussed in a large group session in week 7 to reflect on the benefits and demonstrate an association with the upcoming summative assessments (see Figure 1).HT ...
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Project-based learning (PBL) has been found to deepen learning and develop employability skills for students through active engagement with the learning materials. Foundation, first and second year Biomedical Science students at the University of Sussex were introduced to a PBL exercise. Each class had an approximate student to staff ratio of eighty to two. Students were put into groups of four to five and asked to create a revision guide for a disease system, which was then shared among the cohort for exam preparation. Students were later surveyed on the effectiveness of this group activity. 74% indicated the activity helped them integrate knowledge from previous modules, with the majority of the students scoring the activity 4 out of 5 for consolidation of knowledge. 75% of the participants who took part before the pandemic indicated that the tasks enabled them to build a cohort identity, with 59% students feeling similarly during the pandemic. Additionally, we qualitatively assessed the development of transferrable skills, such as teamwork, effective communication and time management. The results of the questionnaire suggested that students were able to gain these skills. This paper outlines the study, discusses benefits and limitations, and provides potential solutions for the future.
... 58 90 91 Although appreciation is most certainly crucial for acknowledgement, connection and motivation, 92 93 it has a long history of 'misuse', in particular by the prominent feedback model, which is commonly known as 'sandwich feedback' suggesting that negative feedback is best packed between layers of appreciations-a model that implies that feedback is mostly negative and that lacks empirical evidence. [94][95][96] Feedback receivers learn through this 'sugarcoating' 92 that there is an overarching 'but' and ignore the appreciations because they have experienced that these are just means to end and that the actual (negative) feedback is the ingredient of the sandwich. 97 However, appreciation may have different conversation functions in a debriefing. ...
Background Debriefings help teams learn quickly and treat patients safely. However, many clinicians and educators report to struggle with leading debriefings. Little empirical knowledge on optimal debriefing processes is available. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential of specific types of debriefer communication to trigger participants’ reflection in debriefings. Methods In this prospective observational, microanalytic interaction analysis study, we observed clinicians while they participated in healthcare team debriefings following three high-risk anaesthetic scenarios during simulation-based team training. Using the video-recorded debriefings and INTERACT coding software, we applied timed, event-based coding with DE-CODE, a coding scheme for assessing debriefing interactions. We used lag sequential analysis to explore the relationship between what debriefers and participants said. We hypothesised that combining advocacy (ie, stating an observation followed by an opinion) with an open-ended question would be associated with participants’ verbalisation of a mental model as a particular form of reflection. Results The 50 debriefings with overall 114 participants had a mean duration of 49.35 min (SD=8.89 min) and included 18 486 behavioural transitions. We detected significant behavioural linkages from debriefers’ observation to debriefers’ opinion (z=9.85, p<0.001), from opinion to debriefers’ open-ended question (z=9.52, p<0.001) and from open-ended question to participants’ mental model (z=7.41, p<0.001), supporting our hypothesis. Furthermore, participants shared mental models after debriefers paraphrased their statements and asked specific questions but not after debriefers appreciated their actions without asking any follow-up questions. Participants also triggered reflection among themselves, particularly by sharing personal anecdotes. Conclusion When debriefers pair their observations and opinions with open-ended questions, paraphrase participants’ statements and ask specific questions, they help participants reflect during debriefings.
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This study compared the effects of two types of delayed feedback (correct response or correct response + rationale) provided to students by a computer-based testing system following an exam. The preclinical medical curriculum at the University of Kansas Medical Center uses a two-exam system for summative assessments in which students test, revisit material, and then re-test (same content, different questions), with the higher score used to determine the students’ grades. Using a quasi-experimental design and data collected during the normal course of instruction, test and re-test scores from midterm multiple choice examinations were compared between academic year (AY) 2015–2016, which provided delayed feedback with the correct answer only, and AY 2016–2017, where delayed feedback consisted of the correct answer plus a rationale. The average increase in score on the re-test was 2.29 ± 6.83% (n = 192) with correct answer only and 3.92 ± 7.12% (n = 197) with rationales (p < 0.05). The effect of the rationales was not different in students of differing academic abilities based on entering composite MCAT scores or Year 1 GPA. Thus, delayed feedback with exam question rationales resulted in a greater increase in exam score between the test and re-test than feedback with correct response only. This finding suggests that delayed elaborative feedback on a summative exam produced a small, but significant, improvement in learning, in medical students.
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Scientists should be able to provide support for the absence of a meaningful effect. Currently, researchers often incorrectly conclude an effect is absent based a nonsignificant result. A widely recommended approach within a frequentist framework is to test for equivalence. In equivalence tests, such as the two one-sided tests (TOST) procedure discussed in this article, an upper and lower equivalence bound is specified based on the smallest effect size of interest. The TOST procedure can be used to statistically reject the presence of effects large enough to be considered worthwhile. This practical primer with accompanying spreadsheet and R package enables psychologists to easily perform equivalence tests (and power analyses) by setting equivalence bounds based on standardized effect sizes and provides recommendations to prespecify equivalence bounds. Extending your statistical tool kit with equivalence tests is an easy way to improve your statistical and theoretical inferences.
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This study sought to investigate the efficacy of feedback sequence—namely, the feedback sandwich—and timing on performance. Undergraduate participants performed simulated office tasks, each associated with a feedback sequence (positive–corrective–positive, positive–positive–corrective, corrective–positive–positive, and no feedback), presented in a counterbalanced fashion. Half of the participants received individual verbal feedback delivered privately by the researcher immediately after each session, and the remaining participants received the same type of feedback immediately before each session. The aggregate data suggested no feedback was the most efficacious for participants who experienced feedback prior to performance, and the corrective–positive–positive sequence was the most efficacious for participants who received feedback following performance. Differences in feedback timing were not significant except for the no feedback condition. These results document that the feedback sandwich was not the most efficacious sequence, despite claims to the contrary.
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When correcting employee behavior and providing negative performance comments, managers are often encouraged to begin with something positive and are frequently instructed to use the “sandwich method” in which one inserts (or sandwiches) criticism between two positive remarks. Although offered by many well-intentioned management trainers and organizations as an effective and humane way for bosses to communicate how badly an employee is doing something, this commonly used method may be undermining both the supervisor’s feedback and the relationship with their workers. After reviewing this method of corrective guidance, the authors discuss why leaders use the sandwich approach, the problems presented by this technique, and then offer an effective alternative procedure managers can use to address problematic workplace conduct.
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Three experiments, two performed in the laboratory and one embedded in a college psychology lecture course, investigated the effects of immediate versus delayed feedback following a multiple-choice exam on subsequent short answer and multiple-choice exams. Performance on the subsequent multiple-choice exam was not affected by the timing of the feedback on the prior exam; however, performance on the subsequent short answer exam was better following delayed than following immediate feedback. This was true regardless of the order in which immediate versus delayed feedback was given. Furthermore, delayed feedback only had a greater effect than immediate feedback on subsequent short answer performance following correct, confident responses on the prior exam. These results indicate that delayed feedback cues a student’s prior response and increases subsequent recollection of that response. The practical implication is that delayed feedback is better than immediate feedback during academic testing.
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Despite the fact that the effects of feedback and its various types on the retention of forms are among the hottest debates in TEFL, it is surprising that EFL learners in most of the Iranian language schools do not receive any corrective feedback on their final exam performances other than a simple grade. Feedback on final exams is mostly neglected in English language schools where the students are just made aware of their score with no further feedback on their errors. This study aims at examining the effect of a partly teacher-, partly peer-feedback on final exam papers on the performance of students in the following semesters. The students in the Experimental group were given their exam papers with the errors just underlined by the teacher, for which the students themselves would find the correct answers in groups of 3 or 4 followed by a conference with the teacher, while the control group was just provided with the corrected papers by the teacher, followed by a possible conference with the teacher to solve any questions the students might have encountered. The results indicated that the experimental groups’ speech and written productions contained less errors in the first sessions of the next semester.
This paper discusses aspects of recruiting subjects for economic laboratory experiments, and shows how the Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments can help. The software package provides experimenters with a free, convenient, and very powerful tool to organize their experiments and sessions.
In too many physical education classes and athletic practices, specific performance feedback is not often given. Put together the ingredients for a feedback sandwich and achievement gains will soar!