Aspects of Highly Effective Feedback
As a teacher, you are certainly aware of the power that feedback has on the progress of your students. To give effective feedback requires some skills and insight on how it affect students. As there are many aspects of effective feedback, we have just mentioned few of them. We have highlighted timely feedback as an important part of the classroom assessment in this blog post.
Avoid Cognitive Overload
Cognitive load is the total amount of mental effort being used in a working memory. If you breach it, cognitive overload will happen. Therefore, few stressed out suggestions are more effective than bunch of remarks. Don’t make your students cringe in horror by suggesting them tons of improvements.
Be Specific/ Formative
Giving students general feedback is as much as ineffective as not giving them any. “Good job!” or “You’re not quite there yet” are not exactly helpful remarks. In order for student to make a progress in the future, feedback has to be specific and formative. They have to know what exactly they did wrong or right to improve in the future.
The way feedback is presented can have a lot of impact on how it is received. Make sure you use motivating words, and avoid being too strict when giving feedback to students. Students will interpret harsh feedback as an attempt to control them and tell them how should they be doing things. Instead of pointing out all negative aspects at once, try using a sandwich method. Give positive feedback, then point out something they could change, and then provide positive feedback again.
Timely Feedback – The Sooner The Better
One of the most important aspects of effective feedback is making it on time. Numerous studies prove that feedback is most effective when given immediately. One of those studies showed that participants who were given immediate feedback achieved a significantly bigger increase in performance than those who had received delayed feedback. Although it may vary on the situation, most of scholar agree that feedback should be provided within 24-48 hours, and preferably, right after completion of an assignment. Why is that so?
When students are acquiring new concepts, especially complex ones, timely feedback can prevent them from developing misconceptions. Obviously, students can’t learn much from feedback provided weeks after completion of an assignment. It takes a lot of effort for students to take themselves back in time when they were working on the assignment and apply the feedback on that work. If they wait too long for feedback, they risk losing the context for the valued learning of the work.
Moreover, for the majority of the students, assignment is over once is turned in. Their effort stops then. There is a little chance they’ll read comments and your suggestions written on the margins of their assignments. More likely, they will throw it in the trash or lose it somewhere in the locker.
Therefore, the optimal time for giving feedback is while students are still working on their assignments. That way they have an imminent opportunity to improve their work. Whenever you have a chance to help them out with comments and recommendations, while their work is still in progress, you do so. They will be grateful for your help, and you’ll spend less time correcting their mistakes. It’s a win-win situation.
Timely Feedback in Digital Classroom
While you can make feedback traditional way, educational technology makes it even easier. Especially when we’re talking about providing timely feedback. Many tools these days provide students with feedback in real time, whether students are in classroom, at home or participating in online sessions.
AWW app offers teacher an opportunity to give timely feedback to students, whether they’re still working on an assignments or they have completed it. In both ways, they can do it completely anonymously.
In the first case, students can invite teachers on their assignment board via link to have a look at their work in progress. By getting suggestion from teachers, while they’re still working on their draft versions, students can significantly improve their end version and have better grades. Students can also ask for peer-to-peer help by inviting their classmates to assignment board. In the second case, students can simply turn in their assignments in Google Classroom and have teachers to review them.