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Towards Outstanding Feedback
Transcript of Towards Outstanding Feedback
As teachers, we already know amazing feedback provides learners with info that will enable them to hopefully go chase their dreams.
By weaving our constructive criticism/inspiration/aspiration, we help learners bloom. Just have a quick glance below, to see the qualities behind such outstanding feedback...
Many Hands Make Light(ish) Work...
Eyes on Feedback Forms...
Whilst writing reams of feedback everyday, it's sometimes hard to see
the wood for the metaphorical trees, and lose sight of why we actually spend so long giving feedback.
So to draw things to a close, let's just revisit the key points that have shown the power and importance of feedback in all we do...
Love, Life and
'The Obligatory Overview...'
The Life and Times of Feedback...
When Feedback Gets All Beautiful...
Next we'll draw on everyone's boundless expertise, to see what magic qualities so-called "outstanding feedback" possesses.
As well as this, we will then assess how we can continue to be the authors of this beautiful aspect of teaching and learning.*
*Amazon currently has about 1.2 million
product reviews. That's a gigantic amount of feedback:-)
Delivering Feedback, Big Style...
It's true that everyone is now great at "classic" or "retro" feedback methods like blitzing work with written notes or having a chat with learners to share improvements, but with technological leaps the possibilities for new delivery methods are endless...
With this in mind, we will search for fresh and experimental ways of giving feedback which will (hopefully) optimise learner performance, and try to take pressure off teachers.
Feedback and All Its Friends...
Reactions to Feedback
Viva(s) La Vida
Learning to Quietly Melt Away...
We can also shamelessly steal a great assessment method from university, namely that of "vivas". This technique tests understanding by learners exploring their work in a collaborative interview with teachers.
This method needs a supportive ethos, with you and the learner working to understand the intricacies of the assessed work, which then gives you much scope for feeding back on their performance...
1. Allow learners generous time to prepare their answers to some set questions you will raise, and annotate work well.
2. Conduct viva on a one-to-one basis, to put learners at ease. Expect bumps along the way though, and guide learners with simple closed questions, before moving to more evaluative open-ended ones.
3. With all the deep thinking done, it's great to feedback instantaneously and ask learners to record the main points they have now unearthed about their own work; it would be a crying shame not to collect all those moments of pure academic gold for the next assessment...
'Socratic Questioning' is one of our most powerful tools, to see whether the knowledge is sticking (or not).
The trick is to never be totally happy with answers, but to keep probing at the frontiers of learner's understanding, before feeding back on how to improve.
1. Start by posing an interesting question within your subject, e.g: 'Why do you think crime occurs?'
2. Now dig deeper, to analyse the logic underpinning answers e.g. 'What is it that makes you believe that crime is caused by poverty? Is this due to desperation, or frustration?
3. Then bring in rival viewpoints to challenge learner answers: e.g. 'But what about the role of films/games, aren't these more valid factors, by glamourising criminal behavior? Verbal feedback is great at the end, on spoken skills, and how well they know their own mind.
When it comes to innovative learning, there are many assessment methods we can use as new avenues for giving feedback, depending on subject,learning styles, and class chemistry.
Just have a quick look below to see some of the best assessment methods for enabling fresh and exotic feedback...
As opposed to the here and now, feedback is often about playing the 'long game'-giving learners all the skills they will need to chase their dreams, long after they've left our classrooms...
some Notes on
When it comes down to it, feedback is all about improving learner
Clearly, our aspirational comments on how learners
may strive for excellence, are amongst the most powerful motivational weapons we have...
Playing The Long Game...
Go Grab Some Allies
Whilst it can be difficult to give detailed, inspirational feedback all of the time, there is always a small army of people on hand, who can help lighten the load for teachers...
Fighting for the Future...
Detailed and timely feedback is our own (not so) small contribution to promoting social equality.
Armed with our insights, our learners are better prepared to win the fight for their future, by starting to command the salaries they deserve...
Given the great work teachers already do in inspiring the hopes and dreams of their learners, it's pretty old news to say that few skills are more important than giving amazing feedback.
Without this advice, learners would be effectively learning on auto-pilot. So with this said, just have a look below to see what you've let yourself in for...
We'll take a good look at this thing they love to call "feedback", and how all teachers use it to make
the educational process amazing for learners.
The secret's already out on feedback so now
it's just a matter of brushing up and making what teachers already do, even more outstanding...
With teachers often under a whirlwind of governmental pressures to produce educational miracles, it's time for feedback to get some friends...
The key is that we shouldn't be doing all the work and can now empower other authors of feedback like friends, peers, family to help learner performance and lighten the load.
At its core, feedback is all about getting reactions from somebody else (learners, companies etc...). To show this, let's have a quick look at some examples of feedback outside education, and the crucial reactions it tries to achieve.
Just click on the links to read the following two examples, and have a bash at the questions below, so we can get to know why people take time to give feedback.
What is the purpose
of the feedback?
Who is the audience
for the feedback?
What reaction is the feedback trying to create from the audience?
to a Whole Other Place...
Anchored to AOs
Should be even-handed, blending what we thought was the good stuff, with the parts that could be polished even more to push for higher grades.
Should refer directly to your relevant assessment objectives (AOs). The rules of the game, laws of the land, or whatever metaphor we care to use, all feedback should address how a learner can hit these AOs and achieve excellence.
Should ideally be given soon enough for learners to make as immediate links as possible with the assessed work. When it comes to feedback, it really is: the quicker, the better.
Should explain comments thoroughly, and the logic behind them. The biggest thing here is giving a detailed road-map of how learners may work towards academic excellence.
Should be given in relation to previous feedback on assignments, and the great employability skills we pass on. As teachers, it
really is all about the long game, helping speed preparations for long after learners have left our care...
Should strive to raise the effort and confidence of the learner. At its finest, our feedback can ignite the motivations of learners to burn with passion for their education and life generally.
Should feed into learner's personal goals and socio-economic betterment e.g. career, wealth, social mobility. As teachers, we have the awesome power to be dream-weavers, and push towards social equality with our feedback.
Should strive to fire each learner's personality, with our analysis, tone and tenor (more on this later). With every learner being a bundle of different hopes and dreams, we really do have the great opportunity to give feedback a human face...
So much for the theory, it's now time to see how all this high-minded thinking makes its way into the classroom. Just have a peek below at a feedback exemplar(s), to see just a small slice of the good stuff already going on...
Once you have read the piece(s), just highlight the different feedback qualities we have analysed, and the reactions that such feedback will (hopefully!) create in our learners.
Stealing The Interrogator's
We all know the theatrical element in teaching, holding the stage like a rock star, but few methods more liberating than melting away, and letting learners be all they can be by teaching the class...
If you can blend with the class, you can let the new learner-in-chief assume the stage, whilst assessing their grasp of the material. Needless to say though, this takes oceans of confidence in our learners to pull off well...
1. Choose a learner and give guidelines about what to prepare, time period, topic etc. It's always great to structure the learner's prep to give them confidence in the whole, experimental process.
2. Sit back and assess the learning, but ensure to subtly manage dynamics by sitting strategically in the classroom and intervening when needed, to make the performance memorable.
3. Give some sparkling praise for a performance under challenging circumstances, and quickly feedback in writing or verbally, to see the learner's confidence soar...
Veni, Vid(eo), Vici
With social media moving at light-speed, there is plenty of innovation in terms of assessment methods. E.g. YouTube, which allows learners to create, edit and upload audio/videos, to then share across the net.
Assessing learners this way, puts the emphasis on them to produce a stunning work that shows their skills, whilst creating a record that can be shared with the class instantly, which is never a bad thing.
1. Set the assignment brief etc...along with details surrounding the nature, of
the audio/video. This should stop learners handing in some cinematic doodle that fails to hit the assessment objectives.
2. Then ask learners to upload their masterworks to a secure YouTube school/college account, which allows for robust safeguarding measures.
3. Time now to feedback about the work. This can be done in a snap, so just sit back, crack out the coffee, and watch the videos. Feedback can be left as "comments" on YouTube, for speed and efficiency...
1. "War and Peace"-
Takuya Okada et al
3. "Dried Up"-
It's only a small exaggeration to say education comes down to the quality of our feedback. To focus learners' minds, feedback forms are great to frame our comments and zoom in on their performance.
With this in mind, it's now time to turn the lens on our own practice, and see the significance of these forms, in all that we do as teachers...
Everyone knows that feedback can be presented in a whole flock of different ways, from classic verbal/written notes, to more experimental "tweets" or podcasts.
Yet whilst they all do the same job, they each have pros and cons to consider, when thinking how to give our feedback added punch. With this in mind, search below to start making your feedback soar...
With teachers only seeing their learners for 5% of the week on average, the numbers are clearly against us when trying to give great feedback.
The key then, lies in empowering other authors to take up the feedback mantle long after learners have left the classroom. Have a look to see how we can help to make feedback work around the clock...
Whilst these striking assessment methods are great, their value is the freedom they give us to give truly memorable feedback. So let's focus on one of these methods (YouTube video production), and see how we can unlock the potential of the learners behind them...
Just watch the following student video(s), and compose some feedback as if they were in your class. Try to weave in some of the "outstanding" qualities of feedback we discussed earlier, and then if you have a account, click on the links to upload your inspirational analysis to YouTube.
Outstanding Feedback On
1. "War and Peace"-
Takuya Okada et al
3. "Dried Up"-
Getting All Verbal...
Often the first among our feedback methods, verbal comments are a great way letting a learner know how they're doing, instantly and concisely.
Quick and simple
Enables timely feedback
Can alter delivery to make unique
Enables group feedback
Keeps things nice and informal
Putting Pen to Paper
The absolute classic feedback method, written comments on assessed work are the number one way of letting our learners know how they're doing.
Easily linkable to AOs
Seems weighty and important
Can set definable targets
Can compare against earlier efforts
Dare We Say Podcast?
Fairly quick and easy
Can give detailed feedback
Creates an electronic record
Appeals to learners (hi-tech)
Can easily make unique
Reliant on internet access
Finding quiet places to broadcast
Keeping files secure
Hard to follow up
Twitterati and Social Media...
Another new(ish) feedback method is to start letting learners how they're doing out there in the social universe. By using great sites like Twitter and YouTube, we can propel feedback into the 21st century...
Very quick and easy
Simple to be timely
Learners always attentive
Can feedback anytime, anywhere
Can plug more people into
May be too informal
Hard to give detail
Constantly changing trends
Blurring educational boundaries?
Can lack detail
May seem to lack importance
Open to misinterpretations
A bit of an experimental feedback method, in creating electronic voice-files on
a learner's development, the rewards are potentially rich to any teacher willing
to take the plunge...
Looking in the
A Tale of Two
It's often beyond any teacher, to give outstanding feedback all of the time. However by using peer feedback, we can begin to gain classroom allies, and lighten the load considerably...
Perhaps the sweetest feedback is when our classes become able to hold up a mirror to their own learning. If we can achieve this, we will have given them skills to last a life-time...
Parents/guardians may also be an extremely powerful source of feedback for learners. In often sharing emotional bonds, they can usually help make the hard yards in improving learner performance...
With everyone chipping in, we have now created a simple "feedback network", which releases (some) of the pressure when trying to provide timely, detailed comments on performance...
Getting All Reflective...
Help Making the
Learners grasp how to
apply assessment objectives
Can create some "friendly"
Helps create a community
Places responsibility for
learning in students' hands
Learners take ownership of
Given from a position of respect
Have an interest in the "long game" of
learners' educational progress
Understand learner motivation
Better placed to impose
sanctions and rewards
Become aware of own
strengths and weaknesses
Learner targets become
Takes time to do in detail
Only as good as learner's initiative
Little learner incentive to review later
Often not as timely
Open to misinterpretation
The Anatomy of a Feedback Form
Exemplar(s) done, it's now time to draw on everyone's rich
experience in and out the classroom, to personalise the above feedback form, to one you can take away for you own subject.
No worries if you have already cracked a great
form, just share the ideas within it with the
people next to you....
1. Learner Name:
2. Performance Against Assessment
4. Action Points:
7. Review Date:
3. Relation to Last
6. Stretch and
5. Links to Short/Long Term
8. Anything We
1. "War and Peace"-
Takuya Okada et al
3. "Dried Up"-
With all the feedback theory, it's great to now get a practical perspective on a (potentially) useful source of feedback on Twitter.
With your colleagues, just look at the image of feedback via Twitter, and take a few minutes to consider its usefulness. Could this revolutionise feedback, or is it just another empty buzz-word?
1. "War and Peace"-
Takuya Okada et al
3. "Dried Up"-
Thus far, all that has been said of feedback has been directed towards our learners. However, what about the feedback from friends, family, teachers etc...that helped us get to where we are today?
So as a final task, let's write down and pay respects to all those who helped our own minds blossom, as a means of grasping the power of great feedback...
My Personal Feedback Journey...
I am...all those remarks
on my essay
I am...the heated
conversations about me playing too many computer games
I am...all those late-night
discussions about my degree
I am...a teacher, because people
believed in what I could be
Remember these headings from earlier?
Should be directly focused upon the
assessment recently undertaken. In being
it's most fundamental quality, all teachers
can give relevant feedback in their sleep.
Fancy a listen? Just click on the link
Worried about E-safety?
This might help....