The Evidence Portal

Feedback (personalised or generic)

Flexible activity

Personalised or generic feedback involves responding to a young person’s performance and progress towards a behavioural or attitudinal change. In this activity, program facilitators either assess the participants’ performance, or receive self-report progress reports from the participants and review this progress in light of program goals and targets. This can then inform personalised or universal feedback delivered to program participants.

Feedback can offer real-time support and guidance to young people during program delivery. It can both review their performance, and revise or reinforce behavioural goals based on their progress; and offer encouragement to continue with the assigned activity or behaviour.

How can it be implemented?

It is important that the feedback is relevant, meaningful and delivered in a way that is accessible to the young person. The age and maturity of the young person should be considered when formulating the delivery mode and content of the feedback.

Feedback can be delivered in a number of ways.


  • Program facilitators can meet with the participants in a one-on-one session to discuss their performance, and offer feedback that is responsive to their progress and that guides them through the remainder of the program.

Remote, via text, phone or online:

  • Feedback can be delivered online, via web platforms or via text messaging or phone calls.

Generic feedback:

  • Feedback may be delivered to an entire program cohort based on attainment of established program milestones.

Personalised feedback:

  • Feedback may be personalised to the individual program participant.
  • Personalised feedback is precipitated by self-reports of program performance or by assessment by the program facilitator.
  • Individual markers for progress and performance, in light of overall program goals, can then inform the content and delivery of the feedback.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has been implemented with a number of different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • High school students
  • Young adults aged 18-19 years
  • Young people aged 16-25 who have used cannabis at least once and/or alcohol above national drinking guidelines in the past 4 weeks, and have a Kessler Psychological Distress Scale score of >/= to 17 in the past 4 weeks
  • Girls aged 12-24 with high rates of problem behaviours at school, poor academic performance and truancy
  • 14-18 year old young people with a score of above diagnostic cut-point on the Modified Version of the Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (Prokhorov, Pallonen, Fava, Ding & Niaura 1996), a nicotine dependence screening measure.
  • Young adults aged 18-24 attending adult education centres

What programs conduct this activity?

  • In Media Aware – High School, students are tasked with analysing media messages. They receive automatic feedback on their responses with additional information relevant to the program.
  • In Media Aware (Sexual Health Program for Young Adults), students partake in interactive quizzes and skill-practice and receive immediate feedback on their responses via virtual medical professionals.
  • In Quik Fix, a personalised assessment feedback component comprises part of the brief motivational interviewing intervention targeting alcohol and cannabis use, and psychological distress. 
  • In the REAL Girls program, constructive feedback from peers and adults facilitates reinforcement of healthy decision-making. This is delivered via debriefing skits, scenario-based learning, and games. 
  • In No program name: text intervention, the young people receive feedback about their reported tobacco use via comparisons with national normative data on tobacco use among young people. They also receive customised text messages based on their progress in the program.
  • In No program name: web-based tailored intervention for reducing cannabis use, personalised reinforcement messages are delivered to program participants via an online web platform. These messages are based on reported past-month cannabis use.

What else should I consider?

If online or video interventions are going to be implemented, service providers and participants will require access to devices and/or software to view and engage with the content.

Further resources

Last updated:

24 Nov 2022

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