What colour is your pen?

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A new study by academics at the University of Colorado suggests that the colour ink you use when providing comments and feedback to students can alter their perception of criticism and place unnecessary blame on the teacher for bad marks or feedback. According to the researchers teachers should use a blue pen if they want their comments to be taken in a constructive manner. The full research paper is available online here.

3 thoughts on “What colour is your pen?

  1. Hi Stephen

    The idea/research, is interesting. Thanks for posting.

    On the practical side: is the onus always on teachers to cuddle and make students feel ok?

    1. I think in many institutions there is this pressure. However, the research knowledge is what it is, and I guess what people do with it is up to them.

  2. I always cringe when I see red ink marking up my work. It must be left-over trauma from teacher comments in grammar and high school! I can definitely see how this would have a psychological effect on students and their perception of the “criticism”

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