4 Steps to providing effective feedback in PDHPE

7-10 feedback pdhpe May 21, 2023

Effective feedback in PDHPE should be actionable and be more work for the student than the teacher.  Feedback used to take me hours and then I'd watch the students ignore it and throw it out. Over the years of improving my feedback and helping others do the same, I have seen I am not the only one writing an essay of feedback that gets ignored.

But, I have found a simple approach that is less work for me and puts the learning back with the students. It is based on the work of Dylan William, with a slight adjustment. 

Let me start by saying we should be making sure our feedback is based on the outcomes in the syllabus or is specific to a learning skill our students need to develop. This is key for students to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. So I will be showing you a few examples based on specific outcomes from the K-10 PDHPE syllabus. They are:

  • PD4-1 examines and evaluates strategies to manage current and future challenges
  • PD5-11 refines and applies movement skills and concepts to compose and perform innovative movement sequences

The four-step process provides a structured approach to delivering feedback effectively and in a time-efficient manner.

Step 1: Provide a positive overall comment in your feedback

We might want to begin by acknowledging the student's strengths and achievements in their evidence of learning. Doing this can help build their confidence and motivation. I personally like to add a link in this section back to previous work and highlight how they have been improving. I find it helps to develop the Growth-Mindset people are always talking about.


"Your evaluation of strategies to manage current and future challenges was well-researched and demonstrated a good understanding of the topic."


"Your composition and performance showcased creativity and technical proficiency. Your ability to refine and apply movement skills and concepts was evident in your engaging and unique performance."

Step 2: Identify areas for improvement specific to the outcome in PDHPE

Next, focus on specific aspects that require improvement based on the outcome being evaluated. This is constructive feedback that helps students understand how they can improve their skills and knowledge. Below are 2 examples continued from above.


"Consider diving deeper with the evaluation of each strategy by providing more specific examples or case studies."


"There were a few instances where transitions between movements could be smoother."

Step 3: Provide actionable steps

To make feedback relevant for your students we need to provide them with actionable steps. We do this by offering specific suggestions or strategies the student can implement to enhance their performance. Let's continue to look at our 2 examples.


"Research and gather examples or case studies that demonstrate how people have applied the strategies you suggested to overcome challenges in real-life contexts. Then incorporate these into your evaluation to make it more relatable and applicable." 


"Dedicate specific practice sessions to work on smooth transitions between movements. Focus on maintaining fluidity throughout your sequences. Film and review this session to identify areas for improvement."

Step 4: Allocate time in your next PDHPE lesson

The final step is to make sure you have allocated some time in your lesson for the students to take the actionable steps suggested. It doesn't have to take a whole lesson, just a few minutes to allow students to improve. 


Provide 15 min for students to conduct some research and use the examples in their work. 


Give the students 20 min to improve their performance using their phones to record and analyse for areas to improve.

By utilizing this four-step feedback process and aligning it with the specific outcomes from the NSW PDHPE syllabus, you can offer effective feedback to students that gets results. This approach facilitates their growth, development, and understanding of what is required to excel in PDHPE.


  1. Wiliam, Dylan, and Siobhán Leahy. Embedding formative assessment. Hawker Brownlow Education, 2016.
  2. Hattie, John, and Gregory CR Yates. Visible learning and the science of how we learn. Routledge, 2013.


Leave a comment below and share how you provide effective feedback Or let me know what your biggest takeaway was from this article.


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