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Characteristics of Descriptive Feedback

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1 Characteristics of Descriptive Feedback
And suggestions for the classroom: Content from Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning by Jan Chappuis

2 Why descriptive feedback?
Research indicates that providing effective descriptive feedback to students has a huge impact on student achievement. Highly effective teachers provide students with a roadmap to success on learning targets

3 Characteristics of Effective Feedback
Directs attention to the intended learning, pointing out strengths and offering specific information to guide improvement Occurs during learning, while there is still time to act on it. Addresses partial understanding Does not do the thinking for the student Limits corrective information to the amount of advice the student can act on

4 Directing attention to intended learning…
Success Feedback—linked to intended learning, identifies what is done correctly, describes a quality feature, or effective use of a strategy “you got all of the questions on parallel and perpendicular lines right” The information you found is important to your topic and answers questions your reader may have”

5 Directing attention to intended learning…
Intervention feedback—identifies areas in need of improvement and provides enough info so that students know next steps (most effective when linked to intended learning goals) “you had some trouble with the differences between isosceles and scalene triangles. Reread page 102 and try these again.” “The drawing you made didn’t seem to help you solve the problem. Try drawing a Venn diagram and placing the information on it.” See figure 3.3 for more examples

6 Praise and success feedback
Direct praise to characteristics of the work not characteristics of the learner Remember fixed v. growth mindsets Watch “I like the way you…”comments. Its not about pleasing the teacher but about “aspects of quality” Let your learning targets guide your feedback and praise to students

7 Grades as feedback on practice work
“A number of studies have shown that attaching evaluative grades to practice work can cause problems for both high- and low- achieving students. Studies indicated that once the letter grade is assigned then the comments/feedback are largely ignored pencil/pen suggestion/strategy

8 Effective feedback occurs during learning
Cultivate a culture of learning from mistakes Feedback is most effective when there is still time to act on it Build in time to act on feedback

9 Effective feedback addresses partial understanding
If a student has not partially mastered a concept before giving feedback, they probably won’t understand the feedback. Feedback is for partial mastery of learning targets. Keep teaching if the student/s have not reached partial mastery

10 Don’t do the thinking for the student
Example of the teenager who is told repeatedly to clean the room so mom eventually does it Teach what is expected, make sure they know it, hold them accountable for the standard Use questioning to guide the student to improved products

11 Suggestions for offering feedback
Pictures or symbols—stars and stairs That’s good, Now this: Assessment dialogue—includes student self- reflections and teacher feedback Two color highlighting The three-minute conference Peer feedback

12 Suggestions from Amy Use strong and weak work samples to guide discussions—maybe even randomly (and anonymously) pull samples and analyze as a class/small group Always use language from the learning target and scoring rubric when providing descriptive feedback Train students to use the rubric and possibly help develop rubrics and use learning targets when analyzing their own and other student’s work

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