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20 psychological principles for teachers #6 Feedback

2015-06-01T21:25:26+01:00May 30th, 2015|psychology, research|

In this, the sixth in a series of posts examining the Top 20 Principles From Psychology for Teaching And Learning, I cast a critical eye over Principle 6: “Clear, explanatory, and timely feedback to students is important for learning." The fact that feedback is important is regularly used to wallop teachers. This has been accepted as a self-evidently truth. And by and large it's true. There are, however, a few points worth making that appear widely overlooked. Feedback is, for instance, not the same as marking. In the abstract to their seminal 2007 paper, The Power of Feedback, Hattie & Timperley make the [...]

What should written feedback look like?

2015-05-10T14:30:56+01:00May 4th, 2015|Featured|

To free a person from error is to give, and not to take away. Arthur Schopenhauer In response to my last post, Cristina Milos pointed out that I use the term 'feedback' without providing any further clarification as to what I mean. She challenged me to explain exactly how I envisioned the feedback process taking place and to be clear about what, specifically, it ought to contain. Now of course feedback can take various different forms, but seeing as I've been exploring ways to reduce teachers' marking load, it's probably apposite to address what written feedback might look like. But, first some ground [...]

The problem with SatNavs, or how feedback can impede learning

2020-05-07T18:16:23+01:00July 6th, 2014|learning|

I'm not an especially good driver, but I'm a truly terrible navigator. This used to mean that I would get lost. A lot. When I first moved to Bristol in 2001 I bought an A-Z of the city and when driving somewhere new I would have to stop the car periodically and try to align the map to the streets around me. Needless to say, I found this pretty stressful. Luckily, I'm a lot better at recognising landmarks than I am at reading maps. Slowly, through a process of trial and error, I started to learn how to find my way around. I've got [...]

Getting feedback right

2015-04-08T10:06:49+01:00April 10th, 2014|Featured|

For the sake of convenience I've collated and condensed my recent series of posts on getting feedback right, and they are now available as a single download. It's not intended to be a complete or exhaustive exploration of everything to do with feedback or as a necessarily right; instead I hope it provokes discussion and that it's useful for classroom teachers in considering why and how they might go about providing their pupils with feedback on their work more thoughtfully. If you do find it useful, I'd love to know. Getting feedback right from David Didau

Getting feedback right Part 4: How can we increase pupils’ aspiration?

2015-07-08T20:26:01+01:00April 2nd, 2014|assessment, learning|

You may remember that over the past few weeks I've been trying to refine my thinking about how we can improve the way we give feedback. If you haven't already read the previous instalments, you might find it helpful to go over  Part 1 (which discusses the different purposes for giving feedback) Part 2 (which looks at how to increase pupils’ understanding) and Part 3 (which considers how to get pupils to expend greater effort.) In this post I want to explore how feedback can be used to encourage pupils to aim higher, want more and go beyond their current performance. Many high achieving pupils [...]

Getting feedback right Part 3: How can we increase pupils' effort?

2014-03-19T13:44:26+00:00March 19th, 2014|assessment|

I started to explore how we might make feedback more meaningful a few weeks back but then got sidetracked. If you haven't already looked at them, it might be worth spending a few moments on Part 1 (which discusses the different purposes for giving feedback) and Part 2 (which looks at how to increase pupils' understanding) before reading any further. Right. Still with me? Once we can be reasonably sure that pupils understand how to improve, our next step is to check that they can actually be bothered. It's become something of a cliché to say that success depends on hard [...]

Getting feedback right Part 2: How do we provide clarity?

2016-05-26T23:50:49+01:00March 5th, 2014|assessment|

As discussed in yesterday's post, I am currently working on the assumption that there are only 3 meaningful purposes of feedback: To provide clarity To increase pupils' effort To increase pupils' aspiration I had planned to discuss how we might go about giving each of these kinds of feedback in one post, but on reflection it seems sensible to divide the how of giving feedback into 3 separate posts which will discuss each process in detail. So, first off is providing clarity. It ought to go without saying that if pupils aren't clear about how to improve, they're unlikely to get [...]

Getting feedback right Part 1 – Why do we give it?

2014-04-02T01:34:07+01:00March 4th, 2014|assessment|

It's become a truism that feedback is the most important activity that teachers engage in. Feedback, we are repeatedly told, is tremendously powerful and therefore teachers must do more of it. Certainly Hattie, the Sutton Trust and the EEF bandy about impressive effect sizes, but the evidence of flipping through a pupil's exercise book suggests that the vast majority of what teachers write is ignored or misunderstood. Teachers' feedback can certainly have a huge impact but it's a mistake to believe that this impact is always positive. I written in detail about marking and the power of Directed Improvement Reflection Time. I've  also considered [...]

Force fed feedback: is less more?

2014-01-26T20:14:25+00:00January 26th, 2014|Featured, learning|

It is commonly and widely accepted that feedback is the best, brightest and shiniest thing we can be doing as teachers, and the more of it the better. Ever since Prof Hattie published Visible Learning in 2009 we have had conclusive proof: according to Hattie's meta-analyses, feedback has the highest effect size of any teacher invention. QED. And this has led, unsurprisingly, to an avalanche of blogs (many of which I've been responsible for) on how to give feedback more efficiently, frequently and effectively. Teachers the world over have rejoiced. But perhaps we've been a little uncritical on just how best we [...]

Making feedback stick

2013-08-27T21:44:58+01:00July 16th, 2012|English, literacy, training|

There's really no argument about the fact that feedback is pretty important. It sits right at the top of the list of strategies which make the biggest impact on students' progress. If we're not giving students feedback on their learning then, frankly, what in God's good name are we doing? There is nothing else which should have a higher priority in your teaching. OK, with that off my chest, it's important to acknowledge that there a couple of problems to be aware of. All, sadly, is not rosy in the feedback garden. Firstly, most of the feedback students get comes from [...]

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