Archive for January, 2011

Time to draw a line under formative feedback

Formative feedback .. offering some thoughts to the learner so that they can change and develop what they are doing (while they are still doing it)  is one of those areas of education that everyone is in favour of.  Listening to speakers at conferences however I often think that many “talk a good formative assessment”  but far fewer leave you with some simple steps to help in the classroom. With this in mind I was thinking that a simple list of four columns could be used to give feedback and set targets for the next stage of learning. I have called this approach four word feedback and the idea that learners or groups are given a grid as the key and then a piece of tracing paper that the teacher or tutor has drawn a line on that links the four words together with something of the brevity of an old telegram ...”Good answer consider conclusion” or “Beautiful review consider comparison” The idea is that the student has to overlay the line to decode the feedback – a nice activity to bring attention to the feedback and all the teacher has to do is  just  draw a line.

I’ve been using it with groups working on tasks from the learning event generator in the last few months and it’s been working rather well. More work to do but thought it a good time to share the idea and a Google Doc to share some 4 word feedback grids – please feel free to add your own

Finally thanks to Katherine Davitt who did me a quick film to illustrate the idea – sorry I look a bit shifty (it was early in the New Year and I’m better now) I would be very interested in some feedback from teachers trying the idea with students and letting me know what the results were. All you need is a grid – hand written or printed and some tracing paper.