Easier Said or Easier Done? Exploring the Relative Merits of Common Feedback Presentations

Patrick Crain, Brian Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feedback such as rubrics, pre-authored statements, and free-form comments are widely deployed in classrooms and feedback exchange communities. Despite these formats having different levels of detail and requiring different composition processes, little research has related these compositional processes for the provider to the feedback perceptions and revision outcomes for the recipient. In an online experiment, we investigated how novice participants (N=285) revised short stories in response to expert feedback composed with four common processes: rubrics, open comments, rubrics with open comments, and rubrics with comments on each rubric item (per-criterion comments). We also surveyed the feedback providers (N=4) to contrast the costs of composing feedback with the benefits of that feedback for the recipients. We found rubrics with per-criterion comments led to the highest revision quality, providers believed rubrics with open comments were most helpful to recipients, and rubrics alone took the least time to compose. Recipients' revision quality and perceptions of feedback helpfulness and credibility increased with feedback detail. We contribute an emergent framework for selecting feedback composition techniques based on attributes of interest and insights linking the composition costs with the benefits of the resulting feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number86
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW1
StatePublished - Apr 7 2022


  • creative work
  • design
  • mixed methods
  • numeric feedback
  • revision
  • written feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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