Sunday, May 22, 2011
We need clarity in our feedback to students!
The dialogue among my colleagues on the importance of student feedback continues. Enjoy a wonderful excerpt below!
While reading the article “Feed Up, Back, Forward” I realized the importance for clarity in feedback. “The best feedback provides students with information about their progress-or lack of it” it is obviously important to give praise while providing feedback “good job” or “you’re on the right track” however, it is also necessary to be clear in what they may be lacking when it comes to a specific standard in order to ensure that they learn it properly and to give specific feedback on what the student has done well and what they may have done incorrectly.
A major component of feedback seems to be uniformity across the curriculum with teachers planning and assessing similarly and meeting together to discuss and analyze the data that they document. I feel this is a positive at RMS with departmental meetings and weekly co-curricular planning. In addition to these systems we have in place, many teachers “catch up” with one another throughout the week to see how certain lessons are going and to give feedback of their own.
In the article “Why Every Student Needs Critical Friends” I think one of the major benefits to peer critiques is the involvement of the entire class. Rather than reading what the teacher has written students become more engaged when someone their age has something to say about their work. “Peer critiques improve students’ critical-thinking ability and provide them with a broader spectrum of evaluation, the less obvious benefit is motivation” When students are motivated by any outside factor we get a higher level of thinking and of work. If students realize that they are not just being critiqued by their teacher and that their friends and peers are going to be viewing and evaluating their work as well they tend to (in my opinion) put more effort into it.
That being said, there is a time and place for peer feedback and it is not always appropriate however, according to the article it does seem to be a motivating factor and it seems to improve participation and critical thinking so its value is high when it can be used.