Giving feedback to learners

For me, feedback is an important part of the learning cycle involved in college. Without feedback how are learners meant to progress with their knowledge? As well as not providing feedback, sometimes as teachers we need to question whether the feedback they have provided is going to help learners improve their understanding? For example, if I say that a learners work is “good”, the feedback is not as effective as it should be. Why is this? Because it is not providing an in-depth reason on why the learners work is considered to be a “good” standard of work. Because of this, students sometimes report that they are not given guidance as to how to use feedback to improve subsequent performance (Spiller, 2009)  and therefore do not read teacher feedback comments, because it does not make sesnse to them. (Duncan, 2007).

According to Spiller (2009) it is important that feedback should be related to the learning goals that you set for the learners. This can be backed up by Hattie and Timperley (2007) who argues that the “main purpose of feedback is to reduce the gap between current understandings  and performance and a goal”. Additionally, they suggest that when providing feedback, three questions should be addressed:

  1. Where am I going? (What are the goals?)
  2. How am I going? (What progress is being made towards the goal?
  3. Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?)

I found this model created by Hattie and Timperley (2007) very useful in providing feedback. The questions helps learners think about what they actually want to achieve whether it is through tasks, homework, coursework and exams.

I will be using this model for marking learners assignments on the components of fitness and methods of training.



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