Learning is an active process. To learn, we need to plan what we’re going to do; attempt to do it and then receive feedback on our work. We then use this feedback to improve the work we have just done; or, more often in education, to ensure that the next work we do embraces what we have learned. Feedback also affects how we feel about our work, and inevitably also about ourselves; feedback thus also affects student motivation.
Feedback can be delivered in a number of styles. Methods which can deliver a higher payoff for both trainers and students are: Self assessment, Students comparing work, Individual learning development plans, Peer-marking with feedback, Presentations by students, Verbal feedback to individuals, Feedback Sandwich and Verbal feedback to whole class.
Carl Rogers places self assessment at the start and heart of the learning process. And the learning from experience cycle devised by Kolb places heavy emphasis on self assessment. It is most important that we reflect in a way that enables us to learn. This involves not blaming the students or our self for anything that went wrong but instead trying to identify why things worked or didn’t work. Try to learn the general principles of what works, and then you can use these principles to work out how to teach better in the future. It can be made by learners as well where they can make judgement about their own work.
An easy method of feedback is just by allowing the learners to compare their work. This will allow them to correct their mistakes and improve their work. And Peer Assessment is where a pupil’s work is judged by fellow pupils.
Individual learning plans form a ‘route map’ of how a learner will get from their starting point on a learning journey to the desired end point. They may be for one course and include the acquisition of qualifications and skills, or may link several courses that give progression to different levels (from level 1 to 3, or from level 2 to Higher Education). They should be individual for each learner to reflect aspirations, aptitude and needs.
Peer Assessment is where a pupil’s work is judged by fellow pupils. Self Assessment involves pupils making judgements about their own work. These strategies involve more than using marking keys, but give opportunities for exploration of the fundamentals of the assessment process, including various types of evaluation.
One of the most popular methods is Sandwich Feedback. The sandwich feedback technique is a popular three-step procedure to help tutors who are ill at ease with providing corrective feedback. The sandwich feedback method consists of praise followed by corrective feedback followed by more praise. In other words, the sandwich feedback method involves discussing corrective feedback that is “sandwiched” between two layers of praise.
The purported benefits of this technique are twofold: (1) it “softens” the impact of the criticism or corrective feedback on an employee/learner, and, (2) given that a manager/tutors is probably more comfortable with praising the employee/learner, the manager/tutor finds it easier to discuss problems with the learner/employee’s behavior if this discussion begins and ends with praising the employee/learner.
Dr R. Paton and Dr S. Fearnley, Asssesing Students’ work (Undated) http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/firstwords/fw21.html (Accessed on 1/12/2011)
Geoff Petty , Self Assessment: Evaluating your teaching (2004), http://www.geoffpetty.com/selfassess.html (Accessed on 1/12/2011)
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