Essentially, feedback is a recommendation mechanism that bridges the gap between assessment and learning. Research-based evidence suggest that timely, relevant, and specific feedback has a large and positive impact on student learning.
Teachers should be able to assess students at every stage of education – formative or summative. As crucial as feedbacks are, they reflect the teacher-student engagement levels that encourages positive processing of feedback. For teachers, what sort of feedback must they plan for students? And how should students reframe the feedback shared with them?
Definitive measures of building quality feedback are important. However, more critical variable is to engage the students with that feedback. And a useful way of student processing feedback is to enhance a holistic and progressive structure at the course level.
Why Feedback is Important – Talk to students about it
A potential method of demystifying the feedback sharing concept is to show the importance of feedback to students than telling them about it. Explicitly showing them how incorporating feedback can help them improve their scores help students. Assessing previous and current outcomes based on feedback can show improved participation. Help them to understand where they currently stand and how effective feedback exchange can enhance their performance to reach desired learning outcomes. Choosing simple words to clear the air about assessment criteria shows higher achievement levels. These feedbacks help the students identify common gaps and sharpen those essential skills. Being more mindful, attentive and focused to gain an edge over others is the net outcome of feedback sharing.
Student’s expectations about Teacher Feedback
Feedback is not about the teacher telling the students what to do. It is a mechanism that create new learning experiences for them to reflect on their progress based on a scientific model or expectation. For example, it is important to link expectation to feedback. Even before an assessment begins, teachers can share their expectations. Explaining the students about how feedback will be delivered (email, handwritten or face to face) and ways in which students must apply them, is the next natural step. The students are therefore prepared to process feedback once they receive it. In many long-term projects, students are also explained about detailing their responses against feedback shared.
So, teacher shares feedback that can help students attain extra marks. And students learn about processing teachers’ expectations by working on the feedback shared.
Checkpoints for Understanding
Reframing feedback is a critical learning process. Unless teachers and students interact on the same plane, the effort may not generate desired outcomes. To doubly ensure that students understand about the teacher’s expectations, it may be useful to ask them a few pertinent questions:
- Can you describe how does the feedback relate to the assignment guidelines?
- Please detail the essence of the feedback in your own words.
- In case you have more concerns about the feedback, please discuss.
How do students interact with feedback?
- Provide opportunities to them – Class sessions must create an opportunity window for students to interact with feedback. This may include working with peers to draw action steps and respond to feedback. Teachers engaging with students to know how they assess teachers’ comments help them to further analyze and plan to integrate feedback.
- Work with peers to rate themselves – Based on teacher feedback, students may work with peers to self-assess their performance. They can carefully identify their strengths and weaknesses as pointed by the teacher. Engaging with peers will build more clarity on identifying focus areas and acting on them.
- Develop a written response to teachers – Another quick activity could be writing a response to the teacher. Any area of clarification or further concerns about the feedback can be shared with the teacher through a handwritten note. All these exercises require adjustments to class routines such that students gainfully engage with teachers to process expectations.
Feedback sharing is a perpetual process. And it aims at highlighting how well-formed student ideas are and how does feedback translates into reflections that help in more meaningful exchanges. Most importantly, students and teachers through these enhancement experiences gradually form a mutually enriching partnership.