Tuesday, November 25, 2014

formative feedback

In the best classrooms, grades are only one of many types of feedback provided to students.
― Douglas Reeves
Feedback. We know we need to provide thoughtful, thorough feedback to students in order for them to make progress in their learning goals.
The importance of feedback has been widely studied and documented. We all know from our own educational careers that feedback was important to us. It helped validate our work, identify strengths, and show us areas to continue to improve. Formative feedback is usually the most helpful, as it provides us with tools in the midst of learning rather than presenting achievement after learning. Time is a factor, of course, with providing feedback to students, and especially at this busy time of year, time is at a premium.

There are a number of places to look for suggestions to make formative feedback work for you. An article in Educational Leadership describes 7 keys to formative feedback. Edutopia has a link to some formative feedback ideas here. Here is a list of 10 tips to make formative feedback most effective. Across these articles, the keys are that effective feedback is practical and timely, and specific to the learners' needs and the learning targets. While this type of feedback is challenging, finding ways to incorporate specific feedback, rather than simply a "good job" at the top of a paper, can really help propel students' learning.

What are your favorite tips for providing formative feedback to students? What challenges do you face? Comment below with your thoughts and ideas!


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