Tag Archives: Feedback

Blog of the Week: 5 March 2021 – Focused feedback: why less is more

Feedback is meant to help students, but too often, it doesn’t. Students may not read it, may misunderstand it, or may not use it. If they clear each of these hurdles, they may still forget it by the next lesson. Meanwhile, giving feedback adds to our workload: it’s meant to be manageable, but too often, it isn’t.

Similarly, feedback is meant to help teachers. But too often, it doesn’t: too many issues are raised, goals are too vague, and there’s too little follow up. To make feedback useful, instructional coaching suggests we prioritise one small goal, practise it immediately, and return to it subsequently.

If teachers need focused feedback, surely students do too. Too often, my comments on students’ work were like an unhelpful observer’s to a teacher: I offered lots of …

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Blog of the Week: 12 February 2021 – Microsoft Forms and Feedback

This is a post to show teachers how to add feedback in Microsoft Forms and to show where pupils will receive and see that feedback.

Create a Microsoft Forms Quiz

Add questions, in each multiple choice question there is an option to add feedback to students choosing particular answers.  This is seen after a pupil submits the quiz.

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Blog of the Week: 14 February 2020 – Ratio

A Chemical Orthodoxy

I’ve observed a lot of lessons this year. Inside science, outside science, novice teachers, expert teachers. Lots and lots of other people’s lessons. I’ve also been observed lots. As much as I’ve been in others’ classrooms, others have been in mine. In general at TTA we take the philosophy that “feedback is a gift” and that if someone else has been gracious enough to let you into their room to learn from them, the very least you can do is provide them with some feedback that will help them be even better.

Within my department, the stakes are high in terms of the feedback I give. I don’t want to give feedback that’s so general and generic it can’t be acted upon. But I also don’t want to give feedback that’s so specific it won’t be actionable until this time next year when the lesson I observed is repeated. What…

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Blog of the Week: 7 June 2019 – Is the Feedback You’re Giving Students Helping or Hindering?

In 38% of well-designed studies, feedback actually made performance worse—one of the most counterintuitive results in all of psychology.

If there’s a single principle teachers need to digest about classroom feedback, it’s this: The only thing that matters is what students do with it. No matter how well the feedback is designed, if students do not use the feedback to move their own learning forward, it’s a waste of time. We can debate about whether feedback should be descriptive or evaluative, but it is absolutely essential that feedback is productive.

Add to that concept a second related principle: Feedback should be more work for the student than it is for the teacher. Teachers who internalize and practice feedback based on these precepts will be well on their way to teaching that improves learning.

What the Studies Say

In their review of feedback studies conducted between 1905 and 1995, Kluger and DeNisi (1996) found that in 38% of well-designed studies, feedback actually made performance worse—one of the most counterintuitive results in all of psychology.

Let’s examine what must be the oldest and most common forms of feedback in public education: grades, rankings, and written teacher comments on tests and papers. Letter or numerical grades on papers give students information about their current performance. Class rankings give students information about their performance compared to …

 

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Blog of the Week: 29 March 2019 – What to do after a mock? Assessment, sampling, inferences and more

A Chemical Orthodoxy

A common question in the #CogSciSci email group is what to do after students have done an assessment or a mock. Most commonly, people spend a lesson “going over” the paper, where the teacher goes through each question and students make corrections. There’s often some accompanying document for students (or teachers) to fill in tallying their errors in particular sections. Highlighting is normally involved. Personally, I don’t think this approach is hugely beneficial (for the time spent on it) and below I will explain why I think this and conclude with what I do.

Student psychologyproblems

The first thing to note is what is going through the students’ heads when you go over a test. Likelihood is, they aren’t really paying attention to the feedback, and are more focussed on the grade or score they got. In my experience this is because they are any of:

1) just plain upset and…

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Blog of the Week: 8 March 2019 – What can we learn from Direct Instruction & Siegfried Engelmann?

Joe Kirby

Combining precise example sequences, high-pace questioning, continuous instant feedback, extended practice drills, and rapid corrections of misconceptions, direct instruction is one of the most effective teaching methods.

Image

Citing an individual study to prove that Direct Instruction isn’t effective

is like citing a rainstorm to prove that the Sahara isn’t a desert.

There is a vast range of empirical, scientific and statistical evidence that shows Direct Instruction works.

Project Follow Through was the largest controlled comparative study of pedagogical techniques in history: from 1967 – 1995, over 700,000 children in 170 disadvantaged communities across the United States participated in this $1 billion study to discover the best practices for teaching disadvantaged students. This was the result:

‘Eighteen school districts, some rural, some urban, applied Direct Instruction (DI). When the testing was over, students in DI classrooms had placed first in reading, first in maths, first in spelling, and first in…

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Blog of the Week: 25 May 2018 – My Teaching: Nine Things I’ve Changed

We’re well over a week into exam season, so I thought now would be a reasonable time to reflect on the things I’ve done differently this year.  Below is a list of some of the stuff I’ve focused on, along with a few resources.  A folder with everything in can be accessed here so you don’t have to click on the individual links.

1. I’ve got rid of lesson objectives

Typically, each of my lessons now open with a broad question.  How is Macbeth’s state of mind presented in A1S7? – that sort of thing.  Sometimes, the same question spans a number of different lessons.  Typically, towards the end of each unit of work and beyond, I review the key ones with the class.  Examples here.

2. I’ve used knowledge organisers

I’ve pinched quite a few and constructed a couple of my own.  I’ve also got students to…

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Blog of the Week: 28 March 2018 – ResearchEd Blackpool – 30 things to go and tell your colleagues from @mathsmrgordon

Teach innovate reflect

This was my first Researched and I left with my head spinning so this is a great way of reflecting and getting ideas down on paper. It was great to listen to and meet some of the people who inspire me to be better and keep my brain ticking over constantly. I have tried to summarise what I learnt as well as add things that I think are useful.

ResearchEd is a movement but will only become a force if it changes practice throughout the country. The conference acts as the lightning and we are the thunder that must open dialogue in our schools, particularly as/with leaders to affect change.

Thanks to Tom Bennett and the team, the speakers and all involved at Blackpool Research school, particularly Simon Cox, Phil Naylor and Stephen Tierney for a fantastic (hopefully annual) event!

Sessions visited:

  1. Tom Bennett – Creating a Culture – what evidence…

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Ofsted Inspection: Myths

The text that follows is from the gov.uk website and the original can be found hereOfsted-logo-gov.uk

Updated 8 March 2018

The purpose of this document is to confirm facts about the requirements of Ofsted and to dispel myths that can result in unnecessary workloads in schools. It should be read alongside the School inspection handbook.

It is intended to highlight specific practices that are not required by Ofsted. Inspectors must not advocate a particular method of planning, teaching or assessment. It is up to schools themselves to determine their practices and for leadership teams to justify these on their own merits rather than by reference to the inspection handbook.

1. Lesson planning

Ofsted does not require schools to provide individual lesson plans to inspectors. Equally, Ofsted does not require schools to provide previous lesson plans.

Ofsted does not specify how planning should be set out, the length of time it should take or the amount of detail it should contain. Inspectors are interested in the effectiveness of planning rather than the form it takes.

Ofsted does not expect tutor groups/form time to include literacy, numeracy or other learning sessions. Schools can use form time as they wish.

2. Self-evaluation

Ofsted does not require self-evaluation to be graded or provided in a specific format. Any assessment that is provided should be part of the school’s business processes and not generated solely for inspection purposes.

3. Grading of lessons

Ofsted does not award a grade for the quality of teaching or outcomes in the individual lessons visited. Inspectors do not grade individual lessons. Ofsted does not expect schools to use the Ofsted evaluation schedule to grade teaching or individual lessons.

4. Lesson observations

Ofsted does not require schools to undertake a specified amount of lesson observation.

Ofsted does not expect schools to provide specific details of the pay grade of individual teachers who are observed during inspection.

5. Pupils’ work

Ofsted does not expect to see a particular frequency or quantity of work in pupils’ books or folders. Ofsted recognises that the amount of work in books and folders will depend on the subject being studied and the age and ability of the pupils.

Ofsted recognises that marking and feedback to pupils, both written and oral, are important aspects of assessment. However, Ofsted does not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback; these are for the school to decide through its assessment policy. Marking and feedback should be consistent with that policy, which may cater for different subjects and different age groups of pupils in different ways, in order to be effective and efficient in promoting learning.

While inspectors will consider how written and oral feedback is used to promote learning, Ofsted does not expect to see any written record of oral feedback provided to pupils by teachers.

If it is necessary for inspectors to identify marking as an area for improvement for a school, they will pay careful attention to the way recommendations are written to ensure that these do not drive unnecessary workload for teachers.

6. Evidence for inspection

Ofsted does not expect schools to provide evidence for inspection beyond that set out in this inspection handbook.

Ofsted will take a range of evidence into account when making judgements, including published performance data, the school’s in-year performance information and work in pupils’ books and folders, including that held in electronic form. However, unnecessary or extensive collections of marked pupils’ work are not required for inspection.

Ofsted does not expect performance and pupil-tracking information to be presented in a particular format. Such information should be provided to inspectors in the format that the school would ordinarily use to monitor the progress of pupils in that school.

Ofsted does not require teachers to undertake additional work or to ask pupils to undertake work specifically for the inspection.

Ofsted will usually expect to see evidence of the monitoring of teaching and learning and its link to teachers’ performance management and the teachers’ standards, but this should be the information that the school uses routinely and not additional evidence generated for inspection.

Ofsted does not require schools to provide evidence for each teacher for each of the bulleted sub-headings in the teachers’ standards.

Ofsted does not expect to see photographic evidence of pupil’s work. Ofsted is very aware of teachers’ workload and inspectors are happy to speak to pupils during an inspection about what they have learned.

Ofsted does not require schools to predict their progress scores. It is impossible to predict progress as test results are compared nationally and this cannot be done until after the tests.

Ofsted does not require schools to hold onto books and other examples of pupils’ work for pupils who left school the previous year.

Inspectors are not required to routinely check personnel files, but may do so in specific cases as part of looking at schools’ procedures for checking the suitability of employees to work with children.

There is no requirement for multi-academy trusts to maintain single central records for all staff. Each academy school should maintain a single central record. Where the multi-academy trust employs staff who are not assigned to an individual academy, these employees must be recorded on the single central record for the multi-academy trust, along with all others employed by the multi-academy trust and trustees.

7. Statutory provisions

Ofsted will report on any failure to comply with statutory arrangements, including those relating to the workforce, where these form part of the inspection framework and evaluation schedule (Part 2 of the ‘School inspection handbook).

8. Leadership and governance

As many governors or trustees as possible are invited to meet inspectors during an inspection.

For academies, inspectors meet those directly responsible for management and governance, including the CEO/their delegate (or equivalent), the chair of the board of trustees and other trustees.

An inspector may talk to the chair of governors by telephone if s/he is unable to attend a face-to-face meeting with the inspector in school.

For academies, the headteacher and CEO/their delegate (or equivalent) are invited to observe the inspectors’ final team meeting.

All those responsible for governance need to know the outcome of the inspection as soon as possible. Individual governor representatives must keep the outcomes confidential until the school has received the final inspection report.

Blog of the Week: 16 March 2018 – Marking Crib Sheet

Recently, I have been looking at our departments marking procedures and how best to be effective markers (obviously reducing workload is key!).

I designed this crib sheet as a way to provide quicker feedback to the whole classroom rather than writing comments in each book, so reducing marking time from 2-3 hours per class to less than an hour. Now I actually really do miss writing comments, leaving questions and the other bits in their books but it really wasn’t a workload issue I could continue with (especially as I have my first child on the way!).

Therefore the crib sheet allows me to go through each students’ book and I make comments on the whole class sheet using the sections below.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-20-25-13

The benefits are that it gives me a snapshot of the whole class’s progress, allows me to…

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