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Magazine Issue 50: Quality Feedback
August 2014

This month: Thoughts about Quality Feedback

Article: Quality Feedback
New Resources
Additional Resources
Transition Time: Previous Resources

This Month's Article:

Quality Feedback

Quality Feedback An Article presenting 3 essential features of quality feedback.

There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback.
Anant Agarwal

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Teaching & Learning, Any Subject, Educators, Assessment

Tags: Assessment AfL Feedback Questioning
Let me raise 3 issues about quality feedback, Sp.? Thumbs and Passports:

1. Sp.?
Many years ago during a clear out I came across my old primary school books. Pages were scattered with red pen and at the end of one piece a comment stood out: Sp.? ;

I assume the Sp. meant, "Well, done, spellings generally accurate, let's now focus on more complex words such as accommodation." But was the ? an invitation to engage in debate? A lack of confidence from my teacher? or the punctuational equivalent of a raised eyebrow? Although I don't recall, I would imagine I read this feedback days after I handed the piece in. What I did with Sp.? I've no idea.

2. Thumbs
Fast forward to last year. I'm being coached live as I train. A voice in my ear says, "Thumbs out". I immediately remove my thumbs from my belt loop. This is a behaviour I planned to stop and was a pre-arranged focus with the coach (who was observing the lesson live from the next room and had a private audio link to me). Since that day I've never repeated the action.

3. Passports
Rewind a few years. I'm taking a photo of my son for his passport. I think I'm following the image success criteria. I post the application, photos and payment then wait. A few weeks later the application is returned, rejected, because the photo is not quite straight; my son's eyes not quite level with each other. I phoned up to explain that in real life they are not quite level anyway, though to such a minimal extent that only the passport office would notice.

The feedback issues raised here are:
1. Clarity - the accuracy of what is fed back
2. Immediacy - the delay between action and feeding back
3. Purpose - the reason for giving feedback

1. Sp.? is not clear enough to cause anything different to happen. It is a vague stab in the right direction. It should be a precise reflection of performance accompanied by an appropriate developmental task, e.g.: 'ough' not consolidated yet, pick 3 'ough' words and present visually

2. My thumbs feedback happened while I was carrying out the behaviour I wanted to change. I was told immediately, I corrected immediately and my behaviour changed permanently.

3. The purpose of the passport feedback was to enforce a pedantic rule, not to help me get better at taking photos.

Quality Feedback
So, when planning and giving quality feedback, we try taking 1., 2., and 3. into account. Make it clear, make it timely and make it purposeful. This can happen during lessons, in a plenary, outside of lessons and in written form. Here are 3 professional development questions to help you enrich your quality feedback skills:

1. Am I feeding back exactly what I saw/heard?
2. Am I feeding back as close to the event as possible?
3. Am I linking feedback to success criteria?

Here are a couple of examples,
Your shading is accurate here, it shows depth, how can you develop it to show the different textures? (given direct to pupil during an Art lesson on observational drawing)

Your poem includes 3 good examples of imagery, how well do you think you have met the success criteria? (written in pupil's book and returned within 24 hours)

The idea is to go for pithy, accurate comments rather than elaborative, extensive dialogue (though that does have its place). Play around with spoken and written comments. Reduce the number of words but maintain all three features.

I wonder if the following feedback to a student does all three:


New Resources:

Feedback Circles

Feedback Circles A Thinking Skills Tool to help embed feedback in day to day classroom interactions.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Thinking Frames, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assessment AfL Feedback Questioning
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Feedback Circles Powerpoint

Feedback Circles Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint to help you adapt and apply Feedback Circles in class.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Thinking Frames, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assessment Feedback AfL Questioning
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Skills Think Sheet - Feedback

Skills Think Sheet - Feedback A Think Sheet looking at feedback in a generic, creative way.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Other Subject, Secondary

Tags: Assessment Feedback
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Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Quality Assessment

Quality Assessment An Article about assessment and how to make make it more significant in lesson planning.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Assessment, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Assessment AfL Feedback Marking

Skills Think Sheet - Group Work

Skills Think Sheet - Group Work A Think Sheet encouraging creative thinking about skills and group work.

Categories: Think Sheet, Skills-Based Learning, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Group Work Collaboration Cooperation Roles
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The Immediacy of Feedback

The Immediacy of Feedback A short and informative article looking at research evidence for the immediacy of feedback.

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Teaching & Learning, Assessment

Tags: Feedback Assessment AfL

Transition Time:

5 ways to think about ANY transition plus a curious story about success.

New Year, New Classess

New Year, New Classess An Article including a simple checklist to help you prepare more effectively for starting work with new classes and new groups.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Transition, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Transition New Year

Dream Bottles

Dream Bottles

A Story that poses an interesting magical challenge about success and failure after leaving home. Links to the questions that are set in the "Tips for successful transition" resource.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Story, Transition, Junior, Secondary, English, PSHE

Tags: Dream Wish Goals Success Failure Story


Next month we think about... Homework