Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week Eleven: Feedback

While verbal feedback and communication is essential in the classroom, the ability to communicate effectively through written feedback is equally as important. Written comments are useful in that they may provide a record of student performance and progress that may be referred back to. However, in order for this feedback to be useful to students, parents, etc. it must be utilized effectively. For instance, it is important to give feedback that students can use to improve their performance in order to meet learning objectives and expectations without "giving" them the answers. That means that comments should guide students rather than correct them.

Additionally, the language used when praising student performance should be equally as descriptive. Rather than using words such as "good, " we should be able to describe WHAT they did well, WHY their response or perspective is valuable, HOW they might improve, etc. Simple descriptors make a world of difference in written communication. Instead of doing a "good" job, I would much rather use words such as insightful, interesting, or effective. The same goes for "negative" feedback. Also, in addition to comments, I LOVE using other visual forms of communication (underlining passages or words to look at, editing/grammar symbols, etc).