Feedback & Feed-forwards: Making Feedback Work
To learn & grow effectively, you need to take charge of your feedback.
- Make sure the descriptors are clear to you. Work towards them.
- Submit good-quality, self-assessed, early drafts with specific questions. Own the feedback.
- Put feedback before grades: think carefully about the information presented in the grid.
- Synthesise your “feed forwards”: specific, actionable targets for your improvement next time.
Feedback: What do I need to pay attention to in the future?
Feedback on the product.
What went well and what can I improve to move up a level?
What went well? What should I maintain or strengthen next time?
What was limiting my achievement? What should I focus on improving next time?
Feedback on strategies to improve.
What can I do to move up a level? How can I make the improvements in my work?
What feedback on my behavior/ approach to learning might help in this subject and others?
- Draft was / was not submitted for feedback
- Draft feedback was / was not used to improve the work
- Draft was / was not self-assessed with areas of feedback identified
- Final was / was not accurately self-assessed
Student response to feedback (synthesis)
Complete this, agree with the teacher and then see your grade.
What have I learned from this feedback to help me improve?
Why present feedback this way?
Feedback addresses three questions:
- Where am I going?
- How am I going?
- Where to next?
Feedback is timely, actionable and needs to be more work for the learner than the teacher.
- Clarity of achievement so far: goal-referenced, tangible & transparent.
- Understanding “the gap” between where the learner is and where they need to go next (not necessarily the top bands)
- Timely. Using a system like this saves time in grading/giving feedback, makes it more accessible to digest (is user-friendly) and can be easily reviewed for the next time the student works towards similar goals.
- Feedback first, then grades. Not presented together, to enforce student reflection & action.
Making The Four Levels Work
- Goals and outcomes need to be clear - do students & teachers have a shared understanding of what success looks like at different levels of achievement?
- Feedback needs to be ongoing. Students are taught to self-assess in the drafting stages and feedback (not grading) given on the drafts with plenty of time to take action before submission.
- Students self-assess before submission. Even better - they can peer-assess and give feedback. If tasks are differentiated, this does not present a collusion challenge.
- Teacher gives feedback in the grid, on the front page of the work (or in an accessible place):
- Check the student’s self-assessment against descriptors
- Check the assignment, making comments only on actionable next steps - not an overwhelming number, as this can increase the perceived “gap” for students. Students who want and will take action on very detailed marking can request this in follow-up.
- Summarize feedback in the grid: task-level, process level and self-regulation level.
- Link to support resources where appropriate
- Record grades out of sight of student.
- Teacher places value on interaction with feedback by giving class time to digest & reflect
- Give “whole class” feedback on common issues and note needs for later workshops
- Students read their feedback: table and comments.
- Students synthesise this into a “feed-forwards” note to self. Showing this to the teacher and a shared agreement on the next steps releases the grade, not before.
- Next time the task type is attempted, the first thing students do is open the feedback and set achievable, specific goals to “level up” based on the feedback & feed forwards.
Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007) The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research. Vol. 77 no 1 (pp 81-112). https://www.jstor.org/stable/4624888 (includes diagram above)
Wiggins, G. (2012) Seven Keys to Effective Feedback. Educational Leadership Magazine. Vol. 70 no. 1. (pp 10-16). www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept12/vol70/num01/Seven-Keys-to-Effective-Feedback.aspx (and related: EL Takeaways Poster http://inservice.ascd.org/seven-things-to-remember-about-feedback )