Session 34 – Thursday 24 February 2011

Session Title:

How can pupils give each other quality feedback and enhance their learning?

Session Summary:

Once again, hosting #ukedchat was an evening of mind-frying! In the nicest possible way, of course, but so many different ideas were floating about from what seemed to be a simple question! We started off talking about pupil feedback that is given via face to face, real life, real time methods – 2 stars and a wish, Tickled Pink, Green for Growth, “Even Better If….”, Elmos, OSC (one small change),  traffic light cards + pairing up red/green pupils! The use of post-it notes is still going strong – whether by teachers or students/pupils…. Opportunities to check each others’ work for  neatness, spelling, etc are seen as important… and links between 360 feedback in the business world were mentioned. Plan, develop, reflect/revisit, revise, rework/learning caterpillars/heart of the matter are other phrases used…
The following areas were discussed as being important:
•    Creating a supportive culture
•    giving pupils clear success criteria to inform their feedback
•    involving pupils in agreeing success criteria
•    using rubrics for success criteria (tailor-made more useful)
•    using “examiner speak” for feedback with older students
•    modelling constructive feedback
•    involving pupils in peer feedback from the earliest possible age
•    teaching feedback skills
•    much can be learnt from peer feedback review used in youth
•    visualisers as a tool for modelling feedback (and lots of suggestions about using webcams as alternatives to expensive visualisers)
•    using video recordings as basis for feedback
•    moving beyond non-specific/superficial praise is important for moving learning forward – need feedback to be SMART/constructive
•    being able to model/give feedback means self-awareness
•    being involved in feedback process contributes to a feeling of “ownership”
•    verbal peer/teacher feedback AND written feedback important
•    WAGOLL = what a good one looks like – can support feedback
•    Guided use of tools such as blogs, forums, wikis, voicethread, wallwisher and linoit helps teach peer assessment
•    Time to develop and follow up on feedback is important
•    Honesty often seen in younger children’s feedback; peer approval often a consideration when older children give feedback
•    Feedback often given on the feedback itself
•    Everyone can get better at feedback through practice – teachers and pupils!
•    There is tension between feedback and teachers being teachers/pupils being pupils

More tech based approaches for feedback that were mentioned included voicethread, wallwisher and linoit; technology was agreed as not being essential for the process – in fact, very little was directly mentioned about using tech as a technique for feedback and the emphasis was very much on feedback as a process – whether or not that is because not too many people are using tech-based tools for feedback or because feedback is seen to be the same whether paper/face-to-face based wasn’t clear.

Though it was suggested that it’s the quality of the interactions that is important and tech may not add to that, it was also suggested that tech may provide the means for involving others from outside the classroom in the feedback process – some suggestion that the feedback may be more effective when given by other pupils and that parents may need “training” on how to provide constructive feedback!- and that using ICT-based feedback may overcome shyness, etc. Feedback may be preferred verbally by children as it’s quicker.

Eye-Catching Tweets:

@creativeducator: Why not more than one word for the verb ‘to learn’? – Eskimos have lots for snow-one word to encompass ‘learning’ doesn’t cut it
@didactylos: #ukedchat been very much a lurker tonight – but general observation – participants in this and our political masters are universes apart sad
@dughall: #ukedchat As with almost any learning, good modeling is essential. Teachers need to evaluate feedback visibly (verbally & written)
@JaneWoods3: #ukedchat Giving peer feedback is also great for a child’s self esteem and shows how all opinions are to be valued.
@dughall: #ukedchat Important to move beyond children’s natural inclination to pour non-specific praise upon each other (esp. with younger).
@MattSL: #ukedchat “feedback is the breakfast of champions” Ken Blanchard
@marynabadenhors: At end of lessons De Bono’s hats can guide feedback, e.g. Yellow “What’s positive about”, Green “What I can take from this”
@dughall: @janwebb21 Yep. There is a tension between us wanting kids to be gorgeous and lovely and need for them to be critical friends. #ukedchat
@Innerquest: Can children be self guided learners, how can they know their gaps unless an “expert” shows them by feedback? #UKEdChat
@MrMalcontent: @tj007: The ability to be a critical friend and give good feedback is an essential skill… #ukedchat
@kirstyforbes: RT @charte: #ukedchat feedback should include feedforward – feedback = pre and post match debrief – feedforward = min by min coaching from sideline
@JaneWoods3: #ukedchat If learning is a social responsibility (& I think it is) we need to get both chn (& their parents) involved from early age.

AND – just because they appealed to my sense of humour –

Fave tweet: @materialteacher Do u do it everyday? Where do u find the time? #ukedchat via @Crosbiei  – I read it out of context! Just boggled my mind and appealed to my sense of humour
@mr_chadwick: Didn’t realise #ukedchat was on tonight. It’s half-term! You guys are hardcore…

Tweet of the Week:

@innerquest: South African concept of “ubuntu” – a person is a person through other person – best learning is a shared social event #UKEdChat

Weblinks noted from the discussion:

About your host:

I’m currently a year 4 teacher and ICT primary consultant in Cheshire, just about to start a secondment for a few months… watch this space! My blog can be found at and this was a particularly important discussion topic for me – as it is very closely linked to the area I will be looking at in my MEd research project!


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