The national movement towards progress files, incorporating personal development planning and reflective learning, is supported by lecturers providing effective feedback to their students. Recent technological advances mean that higher education tutors are no longer obliged to return comments in the ‘traditional’ manner, by annotating students' work with red pen. This paper considers some of the options currently available for returning computer-assisted feedback, including the Electronic Feedback freeware. This MS Office application enables tutors to readily synthesise and email feedback reports to students. To further ascertain the value of this software, 169 1st-year Pharmaceutical Science and Pharmacy students completed a questionnaire to gauge their reaction to formative feedback on an extended laboratory report. This included 110 responses from students graded by three tutors who marked work using either handwritten annotations or the Electronic Feedback program. Principle component analysis (PCA) of the Likert scale responses indicates that the identity of the marker did not significantly affect the response of students. However, the type of feedback was a factor that influenced the students' responses, with electronic feedback being rated superior. A Mann-Whitney analysis of the satisfaction ratings (generated by PCA) indicates that four features of the assignment and feedback were considered significantly improved when the software was used to create feedback, namely; markscheme clarity, feedback legibility, information on deficient aspects, and identification of those parts of the work where the student did well. Modern academics face a number of challenges if they wish to return meaningful and timely feedback to students, among them large class sizes and infrequent face-to-face contact. It is pleasing to note, therefore, that assessors reported taking less time to mark when using the software. It is concluded that electronic formative feedback can be returned more quickly and may be used to synthesise relevant feedback that is both fair and balanced.