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Giving feedback for learning

Hello colleagues, In a 2006 Schoolies cartoon by John P. Wood, a dog and a boy are sitting in school. The dog turns around and shows his homework to the boy. The teacher has written the words "bad dog" on the dog's homework. The dog says to the boy, "I'm gonna need more specific feedback on my formative assessments."

There are various kinds of feedback, and some are much more effective in supporting learning than others! In fact, as Alvania notes in a recent blog post, "Giving Feedback for Learning," [f]]eedback can hinder or help learning. The ways that learners receive feedback can be intentionally designed into the learning process, so that the feedback results in persistence, motivation, and similar dispositions, and ultimately, the mindset and resourcefulness that learners need to face challenges."

This blog post from the Learner's Toolbox website, describes different types of feedback including:

  • Comfort feedback
  • Evaluative feedback
  • Opinion
  • Descriptive feedback
  • Reflective questions

As the author argues, "Turning feedback into a process for improvement is the goal for giving the feedback. What a learner does with feedback is key to the role of that information in the process of learning. If the goal of giving feedback is to help learners use it to improve, what types of feedback might create the motivation to use it in a process of improvement? And how useful is each type?"

What do you think, friends!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP

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