Final Language in Feedback

William Hasty (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site


It is surprisingly common for our feedback to students to be framed by what David Boud has called final vocabulary or final language.

Jolly and Boud (2013: 15) write that feedback is:

"... too often written in a form that uses language that is ‘final’ and hence leaves the learner with effectively nowhere to go ... will describe the work as ‘good’ or ‘poor’, or use phrases such as ‘you’ve missed the point’ or ‘excellent, well done!’... positions feedback as a one-way process in which an authority pronounces on another less powerful person"

Final Language closes things down. It says good or bad, but not why. It says you missed the point, but not what the point is. It expresses judgment but offers no direction, and can therefore leave the recipient with nowhere to go.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • feedback
  • final language


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