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Giving Quality Feedback

In this workshop participants will:

look at the current research findings on feedback as

it relates to assessment
clarify the purpose and value of quality feedback to

deepen their understanding of different types of

analyze feedback statements and discuss ways to

use feedback in the classroom to guide student learning

Seven Strategies of Assessment FOR Learning

Where am I going?
1. Provide a clear statement of the learning target 2. Use examples and models of strong and weak work (exemplars)

Where am I now?
3. Offer regular descriptive feedback 4. Teach students to self-assess and set goals

How can I close the gap?

5. Design focused lessons 6. Teach students focused revision 7. Engage students in self-reflection: let them keep track of and share their learning

Excerpts from Feed BackFeed Forward: Using Assessment to Boost Literacy Learning by Anne Davies.
The brain research tells us that our brains

require feedback to learn (Pinker, 1997; Sylwester, 1995; Jensen, 1998). Classroom assessment research tells us that when we involve students in the assessment process, increase the amount of descriptive feedback students receive, and decrease the amount of evaluative feedback they receive, students learn significantly more (Black and Wiliam, 1998).

Think of it this way

Feedback for our brain is a bit like fats in our body. Some kinds of fats clog up our arteries and increase our cholesterol to dangerous levels while other kinds of fats lower our cholesterol.

What would you prefer?

Evaluative feedback performance

standards with numbers to indicate ratings, 8/10, checks on a checklist, letter grades are like the fats that clog our arteries but instead of shutting down the blood flow, they shut down the learning brain.

Descriptive feedback feedback that is specific about what is working and points out next steps in the learning nourishes the learning brain.

Feedback on learning - Dylan Wiliam

The focus of this video is feedback on

learning. Dylan Wiliam reviews the importance of giving learners effective feedback as an integral component of formative assessment. (3-4 minutes) Click on the link below. Right click on the arrow to download video and open

Key Terms
In Willams video he talks about two types of feedback, ego involving and task involving. These terms are synonymous with the terms: 1.evaluative feedback (ego related ) 2.descriptive feedback (task related)
-1996 Pat Tunstall and Caroline Gipps

Descriptive Evaluative Feedback

Typically uses a single

Descriptive Feedback
Describes features of

measurement May compare students to each other Does not give students information about specific elements (knowledge, skills) they perform well May encourage competition Sometimes linked to rewards vs. Punishments Stifles learning

work or performance Relates directly to learning targets and/or standards of quality using exemplars, rubrics and/or samples Points out strengths and gives specific information on how to improve Provides strategies for moving forward Promotes learning by increasing motivation Formative assessment

Evaluative feedback Examples

: Thats a good essay. Youve done well. 73% Youve shown improvement You need to try harder

Descriptive feedback examples

In your essay you have successfully covered the main points related to energy conservation. What could you add to the section on the water conservation to deepen your readers understanding of the issue? Most of your spelling is accurate. I found only two errors. See if you can find them. You used a lot of details as was shown in our samples. You mentioned seven different things you liked about dogs. Your map legend has all of the required key elements needed to identify the geographical landforms.

Activity 1

Descriptive or Evaluative Feedback

Your facilitator will distribute the Descriptive or Evaluative Feedback Activity
Descriptive or Evaluative Feedback Activity link Complete the activity with a small group of 2-4

Feedback can be further broken down further into 4 types

Motivational Feedback Evaluative Feedback Descriptive Feedback Effective Descriptive Feedback

Activity 2 slide

Motivational Feedback
Goal is to make the learner feel good. Feedback that is intended to encourage and

support the learner.

Does not give guidance on how to improve

the learners reasoning.

I like how you completed the assignment.

Activity 2 slide

Evaluative Feedback
Goal is to measure student achievement with

a score or a grade.

Feedback that is intended to summarize

student achievement.

Does not give guidance on how to improve

the learners reasoning.

Activity 2 slide

Descriptive Feedback
Goal is to improve student achievement by

telling the learner what steps to take in order to move forward in the learning process.

Feedback that is intended to tell the learner

what needs to be improved.

Gives specific guidance as to how to improve

the learners reasoning.

You accurately found the number of students

in 4th grade who said ice cream was their favorite. You now need to divide this number by the total number of students to get the percent Activity 2 slide who said ice cream was their favorite.

Effective Descriptive Feedback

Goal is for students to internalize the effective


Feedback that is intended to be used by the

learner to independently move their reasoning to the next level.

I agree with the pattern that you have

identified in the table. I am not convinced that the rule you wrote works for all the values in the table. How could you prove this?
Activity 2 slide

Types of Feedback Summary

Feedback is primarily motivational

Feedback is primarily evaluative

Descriptive feedback primarily tells the student how to correct their reasoning.

Descriptive feedback asks the student what to do to move their reasoning to the next level.

Purpose: to encourage and support the learner

Purpose: to measure student achievement with a score or a grade

Purpose: to improve Purpose: to improve learning, by moving learning by indicating to student reasoning to the the student what needs to next level be improved MoreFormative


Activity 2 slide

Activity 2 Types of feedback

Types of Feedback - Activity 2 Complete the activity in small groups or partners. Regroup and share Self reflect using the chart what types of feedback you use most often.

Key Research Findings

Hawk and Hill (2001)

The feedback teachers give needs to be of a high quality. When feedback is given in writing, some students:
have difficulty understanding the points the teacher

is trying to make
are unable read the teachers writing cant process the feedback and understand what to

do next. Asking a student to tell you what they think you are trying to say to them is the best way to check this out.

Wiliam (1999)
Findings from Ruth Butlers research on 132 year 7 students:
Students given only marks made no gain from the

first to the second lesson. Students given only comments scored on average 30% higher. Giving marks alongside comments cancelled the beneficial effects of the comments.

Research conclusion: If you are going to grade or mark a piece of work, you are wasting your time writing careful diagnostic comments.

Clarke (2001)
Findings from Clarke's research: Teachers give: their students too many criteria making it very difficult for specific feedback to be given
too much information in their marking which

students find overwhelming and difficult to take in.

Clarke suggests: When giving written feedback that teachers highlight three successes in the students work and one area where some improvement is necessary.

Sutton (1998)
Sutton suggests effective feedback should: be specific both positive and critical be descriptive, rather than evaluative be offered as soon as possible after the event offer alternatives or ask the learner to do so look forward to the specific next steps to improve performance encourage and plan for opportunities for the feedback to be used as soon as possible involve the learner wherever possible, to improve the chance of feedback being understood and acted upon.

Feedback That Fits

Task 1: Read article Feedback That Fits by Susan M. Brookhart on effective feedback. In your group, summarize the key points made by the author and record your ideas. (Or use the perspective lens approach with the groups) Report back to the larger group. Task 2: In your group, complete the activity described in the hand-out on providing feedback to a Gr. 4 student regarding a paragraph she has written. Once you are done, read the second part of Susan Brookharts article and compare suggested feedback to give with what you have discussed as a group.

Feedback in summary
Quality feedback to learners:
focuses on the learning intention of the task

clear target
occurs as the students are doing the learning provides information on how and why the

student understands or misunderstands

provides strategies to help the student to

assists the student to understand the goals of

REFLECT Effective feedback in your classroom

Reflect on what you have just learned regarding the importance of effective descriptive feedback with a colleague.
What was one key point that caused you to reflect on

your classroom practice with regards to assessment?

How will this affect the way in which you assess

student work on a daily basis?

Suggested Professional Learning Tasks

Work with a sample provided or one from your own class. Replace the feedback given with more effective statements that will help further the students learning.

It is not reasonable to think that lengthy written

descriptive comments on every piece of students work is the only way or even possible. In the next slides we will guide you through several ways to set criteria and assess students work without putting a mark on the paper.

Ten Ways To Assess Without Putting A Mark On Paper

Ideas taken from:

Setting and Using Criteria

By: Kathleen Gregory, Caren Cameron, Anne Davies 1997

Strategies Proposed:
Met, Not Yet Met Met, Not Yet Met, I Noticed Sample Match Performance Grid More of, Less Of N.B. (Pay Attention) Specific Remarks Using Acronyms The Next Step Key Questions

Task to complete with colleagues

Do a quick overview of the ten strategies

described in the hand-out.

Discuss how you might use or adapt one of

these strategies for use in one subject area with your students.

Exerpt from Setting and Using Criteria

Some of our students still see numbers and letter grades as the currency of school. We realize that for years, they have heard, This part is important. It will be on the test. Learn it to get an A. Now our challenge is to help students become more actively involved in the assessment process. Through this involvement, we have seen many of our students move away from their over-reliance on numbers and begin to understand that a single mark cannot possibly communicate the scope and depth of their learning.
(Setting and Using Criteria by Kathleen Gregory, Caren Cameron, Anne Davies 1999)

Jr High and High School

Resources for this Presentation


Talk About Assessment -High School Strategies and Tools. By: Damien Cooper Video Clips
Introduction clip #1 Assessment Without Marks #6

Case Studys and Reading - Chapter 6

Case Study 1 - One-to-one Conferencing (p.112) Case Study 2 - Whatjyaget and Howdwedo (p.113) Do I routinely provide Individual Feedback That

Informs Students How to Improve (p.110) Do I Routinely Work one-on-one or with small groups of Students To Support Them in Using Feedback To Improve Their Work (p.111)
Contact dmueller@[ for acquiring this material

Other Suggested Activities

In a group or on own

On your own

Feedback Feedforward Notable Quotes - Google Docs - Anne Davies -An In this activity

online journal article participants are divided that summarizes key up into groups. Each components of group is asked to look at effective feedback. quotes on formative Feed Up, Back, Forward assessment by different Douglas Fisher and researchers, summarize Nancy Frey ASCD key points and report November 2009 back to the larger group.

In closing
The most powerful single modification that

enhances achievement is feedback. The simplest prescription for improving education must be dollops of feedback. Hattie, 1992

Assessment references
Cameron, C., Gregory K., Davies, A., (1997) Knowing What Counts Setting and Using Criteria. Building Connections Publishing. Clarke, S. (2001). Unlocking formative assessment: Practical strategies for enhancing pupils learning in the primary classroom. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Clarke, S. (2003). Enriching Feedback in the primary classroom. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Hawk, K. & Hill, J. (2001) The Challenge of Formative Assessment in Secondary Classrooms SPANZ Journal, September 2001. Tunstall, P., & Gipps, C. (1996). Teacher feedback to young children in formative assessment: A typology. British Educational Research Journal, 22 (4). Sutton, R. (1998). School-wide Assessment. Improving Teaching and Learning. New Zealand Council for educational Research. Wellington NZ. Wiliam, D. (1999). Formative Assessment in Mathematics. The Mathematical Association. Equals. Summer Volume 5, Number 2.