John Hattie’s research identified feedback is one of the most significant influences on student achievement. Currently there has been increasing interest in effective feedback and how to embed feedback into the learning processes.
The recent videos by the NSW Secretary of the Department of Education and Communities highlighted the importance of assessment in her report seen below
Education Queensland’s Great Results Guarantee also flagged Hattie’s work.
In his article, ‘Feedback in Schools’ Hattie states that “feedback is powerful when it reduces the gap between where the student is and where the student is meant to be”. It is therefore most useful when it helps students to bridge that gap by addressing these fundamental feedback questions “where am I going?’, ‘how am I going?’ and ‘where to next?”
He also describes four levels of feedback that involve: the task or product, the processes, self-regulation and the self. In addition the article discusses a range of other variables which impact on the effects of feedback:
- Giving is not receiving: As teachers we may believe we provide lots of feedback, but what is most important is how has that feedback has been understood by the student
- The culture of the student can influence the feedback effects: Feedback is not only differentially given but also differentially received and can be influenced by the culture of the child and the classroom.
- Disconfirmation is more powerful than confirmation: Feedback is most powerful when it addresses faulty interpretations and not total lack of understanding.
- Errors need to be welcomed: The exposure to errors in a safe environment can lead to higher performance
- The power of peers: Interventions that aim to foster correct peer feedback can lead to positive affect
- Feedback from assessment: Assessment needs not only to provide feedback to students about their learning but could and should also provide feedback to teachers about their methods.
- There are many strategies to maximize the power of feedback: Shute (2008) provided nine guidelines for using feedback to enhance learning:
- focus feedback on the task not the learner
- provide elaborated feedback
- present elaborated feedback in manageable units
- be specific and clear with feedback messages
- keep feedback as simple as possible but no simpler
- reduce uncertainty between performance and goals
- give unbiased, objective feedback, written or via computer
- promote a learning goal orientation via feedback
- provide feedback after learners have attempted a solution.
(cf. John Hattie in Sutton, Hornsey, & Douglas (2011), Feedback: The communication of praise, criticism, and advice.)
Teachers wishing to improve feedback in their classrooms will be interested to know that SMART Response VE will be a key enhancement of SMART Notebook 2014. This will allow teachers to seamlessly transition between lesson delivery and assessment. Students will be able respond to planned and spontaneous questions and quizzes from any Internet-enabled device, anywhere.
Many teachers are already using SMART Response systems but now SMART Response VE will be seamlessly integrated into SMART Notebook enabling feedback to be embedded into the learning processes.
Students are increasingly working in 1:1 environments and so by using their iPads and SMART Response VE teachers will be able to observe the levels of understanding across the whole class.
The instant results and displays such as pie charts can be points of discussion for students to identify their errors for further investigation. These kinds of graphic representations are unbiased and objective and provide specific and clear messages for student about their learning.
Students can work in groups or teams in problem solving activities and be given feedback after they have attempted a solution. Teachers can use SMART VE as a tool for students to check their understanding but also in a flipped classroom scenario to gauge background knowledge and promote the learning goal.
For more information read our Case Studies: