Are You Really Giving Feedback?
Most educators know and understand the importance of feedback, but it is one of the most common areas that we see as a need when we visit schools. The general principle of feedback and why students need it in order to increase their speed of improvement is not really a point up for debate. However, most of what we see does not really qualify as feedback. In too many instances, we see generic statements like “Great job!” or “I really like your introduction” that do not do much to help students increase their chances of success.
For feedback to be useful it must be timely, concrete, easy to understand, an appropriate amount, and recurring. Planning out how and when you will give students feedback on their learning is a critical part of developing your unit plan. Develop a clear vision of when students will produce work or behaviors that will give you an opportunity to guide them with feedback. Be sure that your feedback statements are tied to specific language used in the rubric or scoring guide you provided them. It is also important to remember that people can only focus their learning on a limited number of things at one time, pick and choose what you will give feedback on — don’t overwhelm. Last, feedback should be a regularly occurring event to both enable students to make multiple corrections, or increasingly precise approximations, and to feel safe in receiving feedback on their work.
Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.
– Kim Collins