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Scaffolding student feedback

October 30, 2011

I am now convinced that the instant feedback idea for assessment I got from Frank Noschese is going to win the award for best teaching innovation of the year. If you want to jump start student learning in assessment, this is the best recipe I’ve got so far:

  1. Trim the length of your assessments by 15-20 minutes, so that students can have time to give themselves feedback. I find 1-2 page quizzes to be ideal.
  2. After the assessment, have students immediately go to a different part of the classroom and use a colored pen and a detailed answer key to provide themselves feedback and do a post game analysis.
  3. Making assessments weekly and using SBG make this an unbeatable assessment combo for me.

How powerful is it for every student to leave class not just knowing exactly which problems they missed, but having seen a pro-level answer key that gives them tips on how to solve the problem, and use this to carefully analyze their work, moments after they first attempted the problem?

My goal now is to help students push themselves toward doing deep analysis of their work and providing themselves meaningful feedback that will increase their learning. And just like everything else, I think students need specific instructions and models on how to do this. So on Friday, I created this feedback sheet to go on the back of my post game analysis handout.

View this document on Scribd

This sheet uses the great scale of understanding that Josh Gates recently wrote about, asking students to classify their understanding from Unconscious Incompetence (clueless) to Unconscious Competence (second-natue). Overall, I’m pleased with the progress students are making using this feedback, and I’m expecting great things as students begin to make this process more habitual.

I’d appreciate any suggestions you may have about how to improve the language of this document.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2011 11:05 pm

    Inspirational!I will try this out next term.

  2. November 7, 2011 1:51 am

    Hi John,

    I think your instant feedback method probably does a very similar job to my combination of 2-stage quizzes using instant feedback scratch and win sheets (group quiz after the original one) and then following that up with my quiz correction assignments. Since I haven’t quite figured out how I might fit either of these things into an SBG implementation, your solution seems like a great way to go.

  3. November 15, 2011 8:48 am

    I am going to do this today. Just on a quiz to see how it goes. I made copies of the “Giving good feedback”. I will let you know. As we are not really Standards Based in the true sense, would you do this a on a major unit test too?

    • November 15, 2011 9:13 am

      If I gave unit tests, I think I would try instant feedback, but it would likely be harder for students to do this since there’s so much more work to check.

  4. November 16, 2011 2:54 pm

    I have had the first of my classes grade themselves with a green pencil and give themselves feedback. I can see that I need to model how to do that. One person never noticed that Normal force was perpendicular to the surface or that friction was along the surface against motion. It is interesting how people in general see what they want to see. They did not give good feedback to themselves (most had no feedback) although I did hand out the paper on “Giving good feedback”.
    What was surprising to me, after all the practice sheets, many still did not have the normal force perpendicular or friction along a surface even on a hill.

    I think that there is a lot of value to this process. I am going to do it again. I have different quizzes for each class. I will have them try again.

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