Feedback for learning
Assessment and feedback are integral to learning and it is important that students spend time reading and reflecting on the feedback they are given.
There is a lot of educational research about feedback. John Hattie’s Visible Learning meta-study reveals that feedback has ‘twice the average effect on students’ achievement of all the other schooling effects and therefore places it among the top ten influences on achievement’ (Hattie, 2012).
But why is feedback so important?
I believe the power of feedback to be central to learning because:
• it helps clarify what good performance looks like (goals, criteria, expected standards)
• it encourages active learning and the development of self- assessment and reflection on learning.
• it delivers specific and quality information to students about their learning
Feedback is a powerful thing when we know how to use it, but for many students, feedback is seen in isolation from other areas of their learning. Many also believe that feedback is primarily a teacher-owned endeavour. I would like to encourage our girls to see otherwise.
One very simple but powerful strategy that I encourage the girls to use, after having read the feedback on their work, is to ask themselves and write down:
WWW: What’s working well?
WNWW: What’s not working well?
WWIC: What will I change next time?
Having done this, I ask them to reflect on their remarks before the next task and indeed, hand them in with their next task. In doing so they can demonstrate that they have reflected on the feedback and are using it to improve their work in specific areas.
So as the girls have tasks returned and as families discuss their progress, I encourage parents to ask them to reflect on what they have done well, as the knowledge that they are doing well will give them a sense of achievement and motivate them to learn more.
Similarly, it is also important to reflect on areas that aren’t working well; the areas that need improvement, so they know where and how to take corrective measures.
Feedback and reflection are the keys to learning and they motivate us to work with determination and drive us towards achievement.
If you are interested in reading more about the work of John Hattie, please click here.