I realised that if students were given detailed, specific and clear feedback on their first assignment, their level of performance in subsequent assignments improved significantly. This type of feedback cannot be given simply in overall statements, so I chose to provide it directly in the submitted document in a form that was accessible to all students (in the form of comments on the digital file).
Student performance steadily improved in subsequent assessments. I also felt that students genuinely learned more about how to structure and organise technical reports, how to present the results of their work and how to organise their own thought process. Student feedback on this initiative was very positive (assessed through online surveys).
To provide such a detailed level of feedback takes a lot of time and effort. So it is necessarily restricted to relatively small classes (see below). Feedback needs to be given promptly, otherwise students will not be able to use it in subsequent assessments. I normally try to provide all feedback within one week, but allow for a 2-week maximum period.
Mostly related to the time spent marking reports and providing feedback. This is quite high; I estimate about 3 hours per report.
Classes had around 40 students (maximum allowed size is 50). Students were divided into small groups (2 or 3 each), such that the total number of reports to mark was always below 20. I find that providing such detailed feedback for more than 20 reports would be impossible.
It can be used generally in any report- or essay-based assessment, provided the number of reports to mark is below 20 (see above). No particular resources are needed, except a pdf reader that allows comments to be introduced directly in the file (e.g., Adobe Professional).