Thursday, 5 December 2013

Feedback to the Future

Feedback is important. Very important. Just ask John Hattie, his extensive research on what has the greatest impact on learning and progression put feedback right at the top of the list. I highly recommend reading Hattie's Visible Learning, however, if you're stuck for time (as we all are) then you could always read this article he wrote back in 2007 on the power of feedback. With feedback playing such an important part in pupils' learning we (me and my brilliant colleague @SarahHennessey4) decided that our departmental feedback policies needed a complete overhaul. Working closely with Sarah we developed a model of feedback which we believed would be workable and ultimately have a big impact on pupil learning/ progression. So, here it is:

FeedBack and FeedForward

Having considered lots of different models for providing feedback we decided to go for FeedBack (what was good about the work) and FeedForward (what they can do to improve). With regards to the latter we found that posing a question rather than writing a statement has had a greater impact on moving pupils on. 

The pupils have also responded really positively to using FB & FF in their peer assessment and actually the quality of peer feedback has improved significantly. More of that later. 


Giving the pupils time to actually respond to their FB/ FF also means that not only are they reading the comments but also acting upon the guidance. I find playing Wheatus' Teenage Dirtbag (on loop if necessary) helps with the Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time.

Pupil Response (PR):

We now make sure that all pupils write a PR to any FB & FF they are given by either their peers or teachers. Again, we have found that not only are responding to the comments but the feedback between teacher and pupil has become increasingly conversational in inature. 

Peer Assessment - Kind, Specific and Helpful

Having identified peer assessment as an area which desperately needed improving we decided on a model which we thought would be pupil friendly and really easy to for our pupils to embrace:

The overall impact of this policy has been quite substantial. Not only is the feedback provided far better than before but the way in which pupils are acting upon it has improved significantly. Plus, I got to create a feedback wall inspired by my all time favourite trilogy which you can download here.

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