Monday, July 28, 2014

Incorporating Feedback – Part 2

So I know that I want to give meaningful feedback to my students and then have them revise their work based on the feedback (See Part 1). But what specifically will this feedback look like?


Wiggins offers this example, with feedback in italics and then advice at the end.
I found it very difficult to grasp your main point. At the start, it seemed that you were arguing against mining coal, but in paragraph three you focused on the need to provide healthcare to all workers. Next time, Sam, you’ll want to make your thesis clearer to the reader”
The feedback is the essential part, with the advice sometimes unnecessary. It is also possible to offer praise at the beginning, as long as it is followed by feedback.
“Nice job on the project, Sheshona! You answered the essential question in great depth, with lots of illustrative examples, and your oral presentation was polished and informative.”
The examples above are student-focused rather than work-focused, but could easily revised. Ex: "This paper deeply answers the essential equation with lots of illustrative examples, and the presentation was polished and informative.”

In his Role Reversal, Mark Barnes offers a framework for narrative feedback that he calls SE2R: Summarize, Explain, Redirect, Resubmit. Here’s an example:
Summarize: You have completed a how-to article and posted it to KidBlog. You highlighted words in the post in order to demonstrate understanding of the “Words that Pop” presentation.
Explain: The highlighted words are not words that make the writing “pop.” Also, we reviewed how to use commas after introductory words and phrase, yet you haven’t placed any commas by these words. For example, first, next, and then are all introductory words that should be followed by a comma.
Redirect: You should review the presentation on strong adjectives and verbs, linked under RAY on Then return to your how-to-blog and improve it, based on the presentation. Also, add the commas where needed.
Resubmit: When this is done, please go to the “Write to Mr. Barnes” section on our classroom website and tell me that you have resubmitted this activity. (74)

Within this framework, Barnes still highlights the goals (a how-to article with “Words that Pop” and correct comma usage), gives a description of what was done that doesn’t meet the goals, and offers next steps to meet the goals. Although he is not explicit about what “words that pop” are in the feedback, he directs the student to where he/she can find that information.

My Plan

So, where does this leave me? I think that I want to start on the more scaffolded end of my continuum (though there are arguments that giving students more autonomy early on will increase investment). 

So my narrative feedback will always have:
- a description of work in relation to the goals/criteria
 It may have:
- evaluative language
- Advice/Redirection
- brief praise at the beginning or end
- A statement of support (See Result 5 from Jo Boaler)

To help me give feedback more consistently and quickly, I wrote up some sentence frames that I can use. I imagine that this list will change/grow once the school year starts and I am actually writing feedback.

Sentence Frames
Description of Work in Relation to the Goal(s)/Criteria
Avoid “you” language
- “In doing {description}, this work does/does not {goal}”
- “In doing {description}, this work does/does not demonstrate understanding of {main concept}”
- “There are minor errors in {goal}, such as…”
-“The work {description}, therefore {analysis of goal}.
- “This work contains/includes…”
- “This work does not contain/include…”
Evaluative Language
Avoid “you” language
- “strongly/starts to”
- “accurately/inaccurately”
- “successfully/unsuccessfully”
Try to avoid but, however, instead of
- “The next thing to do is…”
- “Revisit…”
- “Continue to…”
- “Do/do more/don’t do/do less”
- “Try”
- “Check the work/calculations/steps for…”
- “The next step is…”
- “In your revision, remember to…”
Brief Praise at Beginning or End
- “Nice job with…”
- “Good work!”
A Statement of Support
- “I am giving you this feedback because I believe in you”
- “Keep up the good work”
- “Keep up the strong effort”

Based on my feedback, students should be able to answer the following questions:
- what goal(s) does the feedback reference?
- Does the work meet the goal? (more complex than yes/no, usually)
- what part of the work helped you get to the goal?
- what part of the work did not help you get to the goal?
- what are your next steps? (If different than given by teacher, why?)

Therefore, I have created the following sheet for my students to do revisions to their Math Thinking Record entries. They will complete them and staple them into their journals over their original entry.

For quizzes/tests/projects, I will give abbreviated feedback through standards based grading and offer brief additional comments/advice by standard.

Last thoughts (for now!): While eventually I would like to have students give each other feedback, that will wait until the middle of the year (or, if I’m realistic, perhaps next year). I want us to get in the groove of getting feedback and using it to repeatedly reach our goals first. After that, I can start to think about how to teach students to give good feedback.

1 comment:

  1. Have you thought about having students self-assess? Especially on the assignments where you are going to give specific feedback and have them revise.