Five Ideas to Simplify Giving Feedback
The one key idea that sticks with me about giving students feedback is that they need feedback before the summative assessment. Spending time giving feedback on summatives might not be the best use of our limited resources – just highlight errors and move on. It’s on the work leading up to summatives that feedback is critical. How can you assist students in identifying and correcting their errors before the “big” test!??
Break the day’s skill down into steps; Use those steps as “success criteria.” In class consider using whiteboards; ask students to show just the next step. Tour the room giving quick, individual feedback on just that step.
Partner Find and Fix
After students complete work, invite them to check their work against the key to determine how many errors there are. Students give their work to their partners and tell them … there are “#” incorrect solutions. Can you find my errors? Partners find and fix each other’s errors and discuss the mistakes they made.
Collect student work. Review the work without marking it. Write a note like this: “Five of these are incorrect. Find your errors and fix them.” Ask students to submit a short reflection on their errors and their perception of understanding after correcting them. (Teacher note: keep a spreadsheet open while you review work. Note in the spreadsheet the problems missed for each student. Address the most commonly missed problems in class).
Highlight the Errors
Collect student work. As you review the work, highlight errors with a highlighter. Enter grades but don’t reveal them. Return the work, discuss your favorite mistakes in class, and invite students to review their errors. Tell students their scores will be revealed in ____ hours (24, 48, 72). Invite students who wish to make corrections to meet you outside of class before grades are revealed.
Mark Less, Mark Better
Decide what parts of the lesson sequence in a unit need the most feedback. Design the assessment for those parts. Collect and mark with descriptive feedback. Consider using statements like these:
· Your solution is correct but the work shown isn’t clear. How can you communicate your processes more clearly so that others can see your thinking?
· You are on the right track with the procedure you’ve chosen but you have computational errors. What are some ways you can check your work for accuracy?
· Your solution doesn’t make sense within the context of the parameters given in the problem. How might you determine if your solutions are reasonable?
If you like these statements create a classroom chart – give each statement a code. Simply write codes on student work. Refer students to the chart.
On other assignments simply grade them. Prioritize the work that needs detailed feedback.
Which of these five feedback methods might work for you? If not one of these five, what feedback method do you use?