Jing Zhu - Week 2 Reading Response

Feedback is an essential component of assessment. While formative assessment involves gathering data for improving student learning and summative assessment uses data to assess how much students master the knowledge at the completion of a learning sequence, the ultimate purpose of both types of the assessments is to provide information to be used as feedback to modify teaching and improve student learning. Regardless of the types of the assessment, they are all intended to improve student learning and teacher’s teaching strategies (Dixon and Worrell, 2016).

Both assessment and feedback have exiting problems and challenges. For example, formative assessment does not have well developed standard with reliability and validity to follow as summative assessment does (Dixon and Worrell, 2016). Besides, although feedback is one of the factors that influence on learning the most, how to give effective feedback is a still a big challenge.

One strategy to ensure effective feedback is to set up clear expectations and provide clear instructions for students to follow. A lack of systematic feedback procedure is a main challenge. “We do not really do anything with the feedback, we actually put it aside or start on the next topic” (Havnes, 2012). I observe the same thing in my class. Students have everyday homework from me. After I check for completion, if I give them answer key to compare after class, majority of the students will not do it, including high performing students. However, if I give them time to compare answer key in class, and followed by discussion with peers and asking me questions, all of them will do it. Therefore even though it takes time, I still start my everyday lesson from letting students review their homework. Same thing applys to test corrections. Students do better with my test correction framework with clear procedures in. “When feedback is combined with effective instruction in classrooms, it can be very powerful in enhancing learning” (Hattie and Timperley, 2007).

Besides, different learners interpret and react with feedback in different ways. Teachers should focus on timing and students’ characteristics to achieve students’ active engagement with feedback (Havnes, 2012). The first thing I do at the beginning of the calendar year is to know more about my students, such as their personality, their learning habits, their challenges, etc. In this way, I would know what kind of feedback, intervention and accommodation I should provide to better assist each individual student. For example, for low performing students, and students with shy personality, the feedback I give is always associated with further help. I will spend time in class and after class to reteach them until they understand the knowledge. Feedback in my class is always followed by reteaching, encouraging, and checking for understanding again. Without corresponding further accommodation, feedback is less likely to be effective. Besides, the communication during the entire process can facilitate students’ future learning process.

Furthermore, teachers’ attitude and belief plays a vital role in effective feedback. In my class, students are encouraged to ask any questions.  “While both positive and negative feedback can be beneficial, effective criticism needs to be delivered with respect and care” (Chappelow and Macauley, 2019). Besides, instead of telling students how to fix a problem, asking inspiring questions that can stimulate exploration and experimentation is a much better way.

References

Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

Havnes, A., Smith K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Education Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.

Chappelow, C., MaCauley, C. (2019). What good feedback really looks like.

 

Respond to feedback: Two strategies can help ensure feedback teachers give out become effective. First of all, teachers need to provide clear instructions for students to follow on how to respond to teachers’ feedback. Besides, clear expectations need to be set for students to meet. For example, when students come into my classes, the first couple things they do as everyday routines are to 1) show me their homework and get a completion grade, 2) get the answer key from me, 3) compare answer key and circle the problems they did wrong, 4) discuss with their peers, ask questions to their peers, teacher circulates to give the second part of the homework correction grade, 5) tell me the questions they want me to go over after peer discussion, whole class go over those questions together. 

 

This review of homework is the first part of my everyday’s class. It takes time, however, is effective, compared to other strategies I tried. Students in Havnes’s study mentioned: “We do not really do anything with the feedback, we actually put it aside or start on the next topic”. I truly observed the same thing in my classes. When I give them the answer key and tell them to compare the answer, correct them and bring back questions, very rarely they did that after class. Most of the time they put it aside as the study showed. However, when I give them time and procedure in the class for them to do the corrections, they did it. 

The other reason I think students resist this feedback is because there’s no accountable expectations. When I give them answer key to compare at home, it’s on their own. However, when they are doing this in class, I am circulating, recording their progress, and giving them the correction grade. Therefore, to ensure effective feedback, teachers need to provide instructions, set up expectations and the corresponding monitor system. 

 

Several other things I tried to create a classroom culture with using feedback productively. I tried the best to make every response to feedback accountable. In other words, there will be a grade based on how students respond to my feedback. For example, after they did the test correction based on my feedback, there will be a correction grade added to their current exam grade. Besides, I keep emphasizing the importance of self reflection, not only on their current subject learning, but also on every aspect of their lives. Responding to feedback is the most direct way to help you self reflect and improve. 

 

The biggest challenge is that it is hard for me to check how every student uses the feedback. It is nice to be able to follow up with every student. However, I have 150 students, it is impossible for me to follow up with every student’s every piece of work, including how they respond to feedback. The support I can use is what we called “monitors” in my school. Monitors are usually responsible junior or senior students who have learnt this course and did well on the course before. They help teachers to check progress and to grade simple questions. This support somehow reduces the workload of teachers and helped the feedback and the response of the feedback more accountable and more productive. 

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Jing,

      You have done an excellent job with your responses to this week's readings. I appreciate the quality of your work, as well as the rigor you have brought to it.

      This really jumped out at me:

      A lack of systematic feedback procedure is a main challenge. “We do not really do anything with the feedback, we actually put it aside or start on the next topic” (Havnes, 2012). I observe the same thing in my class. Students have everyday homework from me. After I check for completion, if I give them answer key to compare after class, majority of the students will not do it, including high performing students. However, if I give them time to compare answer key in class, and followed by discussion with peers and asking me questions, all of them will do it. Therefore even though it takes time, I still start my everyday lesson from letting students review their homework.

      I am curious to know more specifics about how you are addressing this in your classroom. What kinds of things have you done (or would you like to do) to create a classroom culture around using feedback productively? Why do you think your students have been resistant to your feedback thus far? What challenges do you expect to face? What support do you need?

      Please revise your blog post to address this. You can do this by clicking on "Edit" above, making these revisions, then clicking on "Save." Once you do this, email me or message me on Pace Commons to let me know so I can take a look.

       

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