“Feedback is an important component of the formative assessment process.” (Brookhart, 2008, p.1). Feedback provides learners with the chance to improve and develop on their work and gives constructive advice on how they can achieve this. It also offers positive reinforcement which can encourage motivation from learners. “It acts as a process which results in self-administered positive reinforcement of an activity” (Curzon, 2003, p.142). Feedback can also be viewed negatively and can affect learning in a powerful way, known through studies as ‘punishment’ for learners, if not constructively outlining developmental needs. (Brookhart, 2008). Therefore negative feedback should always be given carefully, explaining what can be improved and why they may not be achieved, giving clear direction. Providing effective feedback is a skill which teachers must acquire to enable effective learning and development of their learners. The approach to providing students with feedback varies with different forms of assessment. For example when to use verbal and/or written forms of feedback will rely upon how the assessment has been carried out and also the individual learner needs. It is important to consider other formative assessment skills alongside feedback to ensure learners are encouraged to use their feedback to improve and not deem it as negative criticism. This includes setting targets and goals and checking progress using objectives to follow. One to one support and reviews are necessary to provide verbal feedback to give advice on how learners can successfully progress. When deciding on approaches to providing feedback, teachers must consider different factors such as timing, amount of feedback, audience, communication, focus and content (Brookhart, 2008). These approaches to feedback ensure that it is effective and constructive, enabling students to take ownership of their development and learning. During the delivery of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, I am required to give constructive feedback to students in both written and verbal form. For example in my reflective learning journals I consider a meeting with the IV and reflecting on my discussion reports, the ‘main points included ensuring feedback and guidance is given throughout the students’ portfolios’. This is a very important practice within the logbooks as students are informed of how they are meeting criteria and how they can further develop. I go on to explain ‘I can develop by giving more guidance and feedback to students within their portfolios, commenting on areas of strength and weakness, so they can improve their written work as result.’ “Even the most reluctant learners want and value feedback on their learning.” (Jones, 2009, p.24). It is necessary to give written feedback which is constructive and not personal, concentrating on facts and quality of work. When giving written feedback it is important to consider various factors and methods. “Clarity is important; students need to understand the feedback information as you intend it.” (Brookhart, 2008, p.32). Students come from different backgrounds and experiences, as well as different levels of education. It is important when giving feedback that teachers use plain language and do not over complicate written feedback so learners cannot understand the comments. It is also important to consider the tone and how specific your written feedback is. During the programme I give written feedback on student portfolio work and also use feedback forms and sheets. I encourage students to keep a record of their feedback reports so they can clearly identify how they have achieved and developed. “Learners receive oral feedback every time they are in contact with their practitioner, whether it is consciously or subconsciously.” (Jones, 2009, p.23). Verbal feedback often has more of an impact on learners, as it can be given shortly after and during activities or assessment. Learners can engage in conversation gaining a...
References: Brookhart, S.M. (2008) How to give effective feedback to your students. ASCD.
Curzon, L.B. (2003) Teaching in Further Education: An Outline of Principle and Practice. 6th edition. London: Continuum
Jones, C.A (2009) Assessment for Learning. London: LSIS.
Lifelong Learning UK (2006) New overarching professional standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector. London: LLUK.
Petty, G (2004) Teaching Today: A Practical Guide. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
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