How can teachers create an effective feedback loop which reduces workload and ensure that students take action?
Teachers must use a range of feedback techniques in and out of the lesson to reduce teacher workload and provide assessment for students to take action.
How to use whole-class feedback?
Using a whole-class feedback tool as and when the curriculum determines, rather than when assessment demands, is a perfect alternative for teachers. Not only does it reduce teacher workload but it encourages self-regulation in students. In this post, I’d like to explain how to use whole-class feedback as a methodology.
This whole class feedback sheet (below) provides teachers with a template to annotate commentary on the basis for providing feedback, feed up and feedforward information to their class.
Drawing upon a number of pieces of feedback research, it is vital that all teachers not only clarify what a good example looks like, but model the task. The method I would always advocate is ‘I do, we do, you do‘.
A teacher should model the task first. Then model it again in stages with the students completing micro-versions of the task itself with you, then ask students to complete the task solo, in pairs or in groups depending on the context, then circulate the room to monitor this guided practice.
Based on what happens (how the students respond), the teacher would complete the above section of this whole-class feedback sheet. Feed-up is when a teacher compares the actual status of the current work with the longer-term target status.
Feedback and Feed Forward
To support teacher workload, it is important to bust the myth that a teacher can differentiate in every lesson to every child. It’s simply not possible.
It is important to approach and respond to pupils in groups according to their work status. This is the only long-term and sustainable way teachers can provide regular assessment in and out of class. Of course, this does not mean that one-to-one feedback shouldn’t or does not happen, it’s simply time-consuming to complete on an industrial scale.
Teachers typically provide “feed-back” (comparison of the actual status with a previous status), but teachers must always link this dialogue as “feed-forward” (explanation of the target status based on the actual status).
With teacher workload continuing to reach in excess of 50 hours per week during term time, and with marking as the number one reason for workload, schools and teachers must do all they can to reduce this burden and facilitate immediate assessment in the classroom.
Verbal Feedback research suggests that when applied well, it has a positive impact on students with no detrimental effects on outcomes. This template is for teachers to annotate feedback to suit groups of students in and out of class and takes the traditional whole-class feedback sheet, one step further.
Although this template is useful for whole-class feedback, it is critical that teachers acknowledge that feedback must also be differentiated and vary according to its level of cognitive complexity.
If you are looking to take your feedback one-step further, try the 7 principles of good feedback.