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Claire Lloyd

on 1 October 2015

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Transcript of Feedback

Why the focus on Feedback?
John Hattie: Synthesis of meta-analyses
Feedback is one of the key features of successful teaching and learning (Effect Size = .79 [about 2 1/2 years]).

.4 is the average effect of all the interventions Hattie examined
.79 is twice the average effect of all other schooling effects on student outcomes
That places it in the
top ten influences on achievement

Why the focus on Feedback?
… “while feedback is among the most powerful moderators of learning, its effects are the most variable”. (Hattie, 2012, p. 115)
It must be the quality of the feedback!!!
Teachers consider their feedback far more valuable than students
How do we ensure students understand and act on feedback?

Divided 104 Year 7 pupils into four mixed-ability groups.
One group was given formative feedback for one year,
but no marks/grades
The other three groups were given marks/grades with minimal comments
you guessed it ....
Nutall (2007) – in class observations revealed that 80% of verbal feedback comes from peers and most is incorrect

Many pupils do not have a clear picture of the targets that their learning is meant to achieve and see classroom teaching as an arbitrary sequence of exercises with no overarching rationale
The Learning Journey
Recognise the importance of feedback in improving student outcomes
Identify elements of effective and ineffective feedback
Explore the role of peers in providing feedback
Through listening to classmates share their approaches to feedback: evaluate your current practice and identify new feedback strategies to implement with your students
What does this mean?

If feedback is done well, it is highly effective in improving student outcomes, if it is done badly it can be ineffective at best and harmful at worst
Why are the effects of feedback so variable?
Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam (1998) reviewed 580 research studies on formative assessment and feedback

The most common form of feedback teachers provided was a mark/grade, often with a comment.

Students ignore comments
when marks are also given.

They they first look at their own mark and then at their neighbors. They hardly ever read the comments.
King’s College Formative Assessment Programme (a two-year development project in six secondary schools) to help teachers improve assessment of their students

Their research suggests that ‘feedback has been shown to improve learning where it gives pupils specific guidance on strengths and weaknesses, p
referably without any overall mark’
(p. 8).
The majority of students in the treatment group felt that the teacher’s comments did not provide them with sufficient information to know how to improve:

"I’d like to know my marks because comments don’t tell us much."

"I don’t like it when we just have comments. I’d rather marks because you don’t know how to beat your score. And I probably end up doing worse than what I am if I have my mark."

"Sometimes I get confused with it because some of the comments, well I just don’t really get what they mean to say. They are confusing."

Progress in the treatment group (formative feedback only) was substantially inferior to that of the other three groups
Black & Wiliam, 2001:
research suggests that ‘feedback has been shown to foster learning
where it gives pupils specific guidance on strengths and weaknesses
(p. 8).
John Hattie (2012)
adds that guidance on strengths and weaknesses
"must be in relation to learning intentions, goals, targets."
Both Black & Wiliam and Hattie
agree that it should also tell students
HOW to improve
to reduce the gap between where they are and where they are meant to be
AND feedback should provide information about
where students should go to next
in terms of choosing appropriate challenges
When teachers give quality feedback (and/or grades), they need to ensure that students have (at least in part) a shared conception of the assessment goals/criteria, and that students understand the feedback and act appropriately on it.
Black & Wiliam argue that getting students to comment on each other's work can have a substantial impact on learning for four reasons:

1. students are much better at
spotting weaknesses
in other people's work than in their own.

2. students are
much tougher on each other
than the teacher would dare to be.

3. students
may take criticism from their classmates
much more easily than they can from the teacher.

4. an over-emphasis on teacher assessment might increase students’ dependency on the teacher rather than developing their ability to self-assess and self-correct.

Interventions are needed that foster correct peer feedback in order to:
Help students become more committed and more effective as learners;
Help assessments become an object of discussion with teachers and with one another.

Mark Gan (2011)
supported peers to provide feedback by the use of question prompts and a graphic organiser:
The quality of peer feedback improved
Students and peers identified the following benefits:
identification of learning gaps
collaboration on error detection and correction
development of ability to self-regulate
Share your current thoughts on the role of feedback in learning.
Introduce one or more effective feedback strategies you use/intend to use (bring examples to inform your discussion).

Two examples of feedback in English: Speaking and Listening & Descriptive Writing
Learning Targets were Jointly Constructed
Practice against learning targets (behaviourist) x 5 weeks
Guided “Peer” assessment using youtube clips against targets over the 5 weeks with verbal feedback to ensure students understood the targets and were giving appropriate feedback

Final 2 weeks: unguided “peer” assessment during mock exam practice with verbal feedback
Jointly constructed learning
targets in Descriptive Writing
RESULTS: Generally effective
Peers gave appropriate and honest feedback - identified what their classmates had to do to improve against targets

Students practiced based on feedback

Presentation skills improved
Drill and Practice against learning targets (behaviourist) x 5 weeks

Guided “Peer” assessment using “exemplar” work against "top tips" to facilitate understanding of targets
Teacher assessment of individual written work
with careful attention given to identifying strengths and targets for improvement

Marked work returned to students
Teacher assessment of individual written work with careful attention to identifying strengths and targets

Key targets modeled in class

ILP developed for students to enter individual strengths and targets

Students were asked to refer to the ILPs when completing subsequent written tasks
Students did not “engage” with the ILP: “oh another one of these”

Filling it out seemed “perfunctory”

Students were aware of the individual targets in the ILP, but generally did not take them into consideration when drafting a new piece of work
Students “glanced” at the comments

When students were asked to use the comments to inform a new piece of writing the following week, some had forgotten to bring their old work in
Those who had their old work, read the comments but repeated the same mistakes

No observable impact on practice
Black and Wiliam (2001)
Smith and Gorard (2005)
A teacher will typically spend more time marking a student's work than the student will spend following it up:

Carless (2006) found that 70% of teachers claimed they provided detailed feedback that helped students improve – only 45% of students agreed

Hyland and Hyland (2006) noted that almost half of teachers’ feedback was praise, and that gratuitous praise confused students and discouraged revisions.

Most often teachers used praise to reduce the impact critical comments; however praise diluted the effect of the comments (Hyland and Hyland 2001)
Next steps:
Students will use feedback on marked assignments relating to strengths and targets to immediately redraft the same piece of work

Marking will be limited to 1 paragraph so the feedback does not seem overwhelming

Peer assessment of paragraph against targets for immediate feedback
We involve them in the assessment process

Goldstein (2006) and Nutall (2007) found that students often think they have understood the teacher's feedback when they have not

This could be because:
tutors and students often have different conceptions about the criteria for assignments
poor performance is correlated with the degree of mismatch (Hounsell, 1997).
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