This paper deals with the field of "feedback intervention" in a distance learning environment. The study examines the influences of two types of feedback: cognitive content-oriented feedback designed to meet the student's cognitive needs relating to the curriculum, and non-cognitive feedback that refers to motivational–affective aspects of the learning process, in the form of axioms relating to the student's ability, on one hand, and the effort that the student puts into the learning process, on the other. The purpose of this study was to examine the differential effect of different types of feedback on the student's coping variables (cognitive assessment), i.e. the sense of threat and challenge, self-efficacy, and achievement. The rationale for choosing feedback axioms for motivation is based on recent theoretical models which focus on students' perceptions and beliefs as elements that affect their learning motivation. The study was conducted on 171 subjects divided into three study groups. Each group received a different type of feedback: content feedback, effort feedback, or ability feedback. The findings indicate that groups which received feedback relating to more than content show improved motivation, an increased sense of challenge and improved achievement in comparison to the group which received content feedback only. Small differences were found between the ability feedback and effort feedback groups.