In the first of several posts on feedback, an overview of some of the key thoughts on Feedback.

The post continues the discussion of Hattie’s Visible Learning book. Within the book, Hattie suggests 43 key approaches to implement findings from his first book Visible Learning. Feedback takes seven of these forty three.

The three key stages to feedback

There are three key stages to feedback:

  • What to do before feedback
  • Completing feedback
  • Where to next?

Letting students know where they are going

It is important to share with students where the lesson is going both in the short and long term.

  • What are the learning objectives?
  • What is the success criteria?

Students, despite being given detailed / clear and appropriate activities  often simplify the outcomes ‘…finish the task’ ‘…complete the work’.

Imagine a year 10 worksheet set for homework designed to develop understanding of global warming being shared with parents at home as ‘finishing a sheet off’.

Teachers need to explicitly share these intentions and develop students’ abilities to recall or remember them: to be able to link them to previous learning; to link to future assessments or exams; to increase the impact of feedback.

Ultimately, students ability to set their own targets or outcomes and then ask them to monitor their progress to these targets has significant impact on achievement.

How am I going there?

Seen as the key stage to feedback, ‘How am I going there?’ focuses on ensuring that students know how to complete the task, activity, essay or assignment.

Feedback must link to the success criteria shared with the class (stage 1 above) and should not waver from the original criteria. Imagine the confusion if students were informed and completed a task believing success were judged on the quality of the argument presented rather than the number of arguments.

When setting work to be completed, share the marking criteria with the class and do not waver from them.

Where to next?

If feedback refers to learning that has taken place, ‘Where to next?’ is the equivalent of feeding forward.

Examples include:

  • What’s the next challenge?
  • Encouraging self regulation
  • Encouraging self development

There are very close links between providing challenging targets and making feedback effective. However, it is important to get the balance right as if there is no challenge, feedback is pointless.

The next post will look at providing feedback relevant to the level of work.