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Challenging Learning Through Feedback

Challenging Learning Through Feedback

This week we held a parent information session about feedback, how to challenge learning through feedback, how to see feedback as ‘clues for learning’, and understand what is feedback and what feedback is not.

A few key points from the afternoon session:

  • Praise is not the same as feedback, it makes us feel good but there is very little value added to learning through praise;
  • Feedback is any message, formal/informal, verbal/nonverbal, written/spoken;
  • Feedback should be related to the learning intention (goal);
  • Feedback is best given during the learning process, not after; and
  • Most often feedback is given for the benefit of the parent, as at the end of a lesson it is of little value to a student.

For students to learn to give themselves feedback and to learn to self-regulate, they need to ask themselves the following three questions:

  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • How much progress have I made so far?
  • What should I do next?

For parents and teachers to help students to get to this point of self-regulation (at school, at home doing homework, learning a new game, or trying to solve a problem), rephrase these questions as prompts:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • How much progress have you made so far?
  • What do you think you should do next? (NB You may need to give your child some clues here but try to avoid giving them the answer.)

When a child is in ‘The Learning Pit’ and are confused these three questions are invaluable. 

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Feedback is not a dirty work! If we can frame feedback as information to learn from, then giving and receiving feedback becomes far less threatening.”

Reframe challenge as more interesting, not more difficult. “Easy is boring, challenging is interesting.”

Can you image an elite athlete who does not take on feedback to improve their learning? (Well yes unfortunately I can think of a couple of Australian tennis players!) We all learn through feedback if we do not personalise feedback, but accept that feedback helps us to improve our performance. 

A link to the presentation can be found below:
More information about James Nottingham and his many resources can be found here: https://www.jamesnottingham.co.uk/learning-pit/

Janelle Ford
Deputy Principal

- Ref. Nottingham & Nottingham, Challenging Learning Through Feedback, Corwin, 2017