Is written feedback the best form of assessment?
Don’t be ridiculous! Providing verbal feedback is a) not only quicker and more effective, but b) it significantly reduces teacher workload in the classroom.
Throughout 2017/18, Teacher Toolkit is conducting action research in school classrooms from November 2017 to June 2018 designed to alleviate teacher workload and raise the profile of verbal feedback.
Last week, I launched The Verbal Feedback Project. With a potential impact on 99,500 students, 119 schools in 6 countries across the world have signed up. TT will co-ordinate participants, samples and documents, as well as publish the findings and share the results of the study with OfSTED and the Department for Education in England.
My first confession? I’ve definitely ‘bitten off more than I can chew’, but I’m committed to seeing this through to help reduce workload and increase the impact of teachers. In the past 10 weeks, I’ve been to almost every corner of the UK leading teacher training and keynotes; over the coming 6 months, I hope I can plan in time to visit you and watch feedback in action …
I’ve now had a moment to work on the resources which have been shared in our research newsletter – the resources are still very much work ‘in progress’ and will be far from perfect for every school setting. The important point to make, is that this is a starting point for you to adopt the resources for your own school, subject and students. All I need is the data and impact at various points in the trial – I will blog a summary – and act as the link between the research and all 119 schools!
- Control sample conditions have been shared so that we can compare outcomes.
- The initial data upload in late December 2017 with a closing date set for the end of January 2018 for analysis.
- The next window for data collection will be in March/April and then June/July 2018.
- A generic resource should provide some ideas about how your teachers could script verbal feedback.
- Data collection – again, this is a generic file to collate all the wide range of data depending on the various numbers/letters your school is using.
- Once the anonymised data is collected, the results will be published here.
I hope it’s the resources serve as a starting point for a change in the profession.
- The Education Endowment Foundation published in 2016 a major report, ‘A Marked Improvement?‘, reviewing the evidence on written marking. It found that the typical teacher spends nine hours marking pupils’ work each week, but there is little evidence to show which strategies will have a positive effect on their pupils’ progress and which will not.
- Read more about Katie Kerr’s research in ‘Exploring student perceptions of verbal feedback‘. Her findings show that, “students perceived verbal feedback as a form of focused conversation, different to normal classroom dialogue, identifiable by signals such as personal and task goals.” (see Kerr, Katie. (2017). Exploring student perceptions of verbal feedback. Research Papers in Education. 1-19).