The Impact of Feedback on Writing Motivation and AchievementJ H ugh es Se pte mb er 2011
FeedbackWhat is ‘effective feedback’?Which types of feedback do studentsfind the most motivating?
Why this research?Shirley Clarke, Helen Timperley andJohn Hattie, amongst others, havediscussed effective feedback ashaving one of the greatestimpacts on student learningand achievement (Clarke,Timperley & Hattie, 2001).
So What is Effective Feedback?“the main purpose of feedback is to reduce discrepancies between currentunderstandings and performance and a goal” (Hattie & Timperley, 2007,p.86).Michael Absolum, (2006, p.127): “Feedforward is where pointing to thenext learning steps illuminates aspects of current performance.” Thestudent keeps track of where they are going and the teacher helps bybuilding “into the feedback a sense of future focus” (Absolum, 2006, p.127)“Various research studies have concluded that feedback is most usefulwhen it focuses on the learning intention of the task rather than onother features of the work” (Clarke, Timperley, & Hattie, 2003, pp.57-58).UNFORTUNATELY...
What happens more often is...“most teachers give feedback to children about four other features oftheir work before or even instead of, the learning intention of thetask” (Clarke, Timperley & Hattie, 2003, p.58). These features include:“Presentation - handwriting / neatnessSurface features of writing - full stops, capital letters and especiallyspellingQuantityEffortSource: Clarke, Timperley & Hattie, 2003, p.58
The 3 Major Questions Effective Feedback is Designed to Answer Where am I going? (Goals / Learning Intentions and Success Criteria) How am I going? (Progress towards the goals) Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?) Source: Hattie & Timperley, (2007, p. 86)
4 Types of FeedbackThe following 4 types of feedback are thosewhich researchers such as John Hattie, ShirleyClarke, Helen Timperley and Michael Absolumhave found are the most common inclassrooms.
1st Type of FeedbackPersonal Praise Feedback“Great job!” “Fantastic work!” “Awesome effort!” etc.This type of feedback does not focus on the Learning Intentions / Goalsand Success Criteria. It tells the student nothing about what they aredoing to achieve their learning goals.
2nd Type of FeedbackSummative - ‘Right or Wrong’ FeedbackOften focuses on the surface features of the writing - presentation,spelling, grammar, punctuation and whether the student has gotsomething right or wrong. Again, it often does not focuses on the actualLearning Intentions / Goals and Success Criteria.
3rd Type of FeedbackSelf-regulatory FeedbackThis type of feedback is designed to support the self-assessment skillsscaffolded by the teaching and learning process. It scaffolds for self-awareness of what a student can do. It is about self-efficacy in thelearning process.
4th Type of FeedbackProcess FeedbackThis type of feedback is designed to help students master strategies thatthey can use independently in their learning to help achieve their goals.It is about the processing of information to create a product using thestrategies and knowledge developed in the teaching and learning process.
Which Types Are Most Effective in Learning?The literature supports the use of the 3rd and4th feedback types as the most effective. The1st and 2nd are the least effective.
When feedback goes badSo what are some of the traps we can fall into when giving feedback toour students?Providing too many areas to work on;Not focusing on the Learning Intentions/Goals and Success Criteria;Not being clear in our feedback;Not providing time for students to reflect on the feedback and make changes in theirlearning;Not knowing enough about what we want the students to learn for us to be able toprovide specific feedback related to the LIs / SCs;Talking too much - the learner loses track of what we are trying to help them with;
Rewarding performance instead of the learning - the praise factor - without beingspecific about whether the LIs / SCs have been achieved;Providing evaluative comments only - e.g. “That was an awesome piece of writing!”Summative scores - “Don’t do it. It’s anti-learning. If it is school policy, change theschool policy” (Absolum, 2006, p. 137).Repeating the same strategies - if they aren’t working, you need to help the studentfind / learn a new one that does.Providing prompts that don’t relate to what they are learning / wanting to achieve.Asking questions that are not going to foster / support learning. Absolum (2006)gives some great examples of these types of questions. Teachers often ask manyquestions that are not designed to foster higher order thinking.Source: Clarity in the Classroom: Building Learning-Focused Relationships - Michael Absolum (2006, pp.135-139)
Online Resources to ExploreThis clip is an interesting example of how two teachers model providingfeedback so that their students can participate in peer feedback sessionsas part of the learning routine. Please click on the link.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1BZRkSvlwYDeveloping Inquiring Minds - Teachers Demonstrate EffectiveDEscriptive Feedback Pt 1
TKI ResourcesPrinciples of Assessment - on Te Kete Ipurangi(TKI)http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Assessment-in-the-classroom/Assessment-for-learning/Principles-of-assessment#3
Teacher Moderation Mentoring the LearningThis is another useful tool to help reflect on thetypes of feedback we provide and how we provideit.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llwSwHqZCNU&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLCB718B345BE1E309
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