The importance of feedback

Theory

In Churchill’s (2011) chapter on assessment, some of the discussion that struck me was about the important role that feedback plays in student’s learning… whether formal or even passing comments. Apparently, research suggests it “may in fact be the most important contributor to learning that is directly in the control of the teacher”. Text comments how it can inform the whole learning process. (see pp.418f)

Note the text then goes on to discuss some ideas and techniques for feedback, e.g. the fact that praise not to feature, but rather “a structured analysis… of a piece of work” (p.419). Feedback needs to be done well… not just quick praise, or even just marks, but constructive – how can they improve, where did they go wrong etc. (For more on feedback see Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112. doi: 10.3102/003465430298487)

A good, practical reading on assessment (incl. definitions etc, but also things like how to write, choose tests etc.) is: Woolfolk, A., & Margetts, K. (2010). Assessment & reporting (Ch. 14). Educational psychology (pp. 538-576). Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson

Note a quote from p.543 – “both instruction and assessment are most effective when they are well organised and planned

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