Friday, 2 November 2018

What makes feedback powerful?

 

Sonya, John Hattie and Catherine


John Hattie - Harnessing the Power of Feedback  Kohia Teachers’ Centre 29/10/18
A response from Catherine Palmer and Sonya van Schaijik

Visible Learning is described as “When teachers see learning through the eyes of the student and when students see themselves as their own teachers”. This statement stimulates questions such as:
      What do my students see when they are in my classes? 
      How do I know what impact I have on their learning?  
      How do they see themselves?
According to Hattie, feedback has an high effect size (0.73) on student learning if given and received effectively.   Some of his key points included:

Where am I going?
For feedback to be successful it must relate to appropriate learning intentions (The Goldilocks Principle: ‘Not too hard, Not too Soft but just right’) that are supported by clear success criteria.  These set the direction towards achieving a task at the surface level but also add opportunities for extension into deeper thinking through a process described as ‘cognitive acceleration’.This entails using meta-cognitive strategy teaching approaches such as SOLO Taxonomy which makes learners think about learning more explicitly, and where they make their thinking explicit.

Where to next?
Effective feedback refers to how the student has reached the success criteria and offers a pathway to moving to the next learning step.  Thinking back to one of our initial questions - what does the feedback I give look like to a student in my class?  
      My feedback should give direction
      It shows another way of doing it next time.
      Any test scores show the student where they are improving and where to move next.
      The student fixes things up based on the feedback that's given to them.
      My feedback is personalised - just for the student about what the student needs to know.

Is my feedback meeting the mark? Ask the student: What did you understand from what the teacher was saying?

Different levels of feedback extend the learner: 
      at the content level: students find out what is correct or incorrect, they learn what they need to fix up and what knowledge is yet to be learned. 
      at the process level: students are given guidance to locate errors and encouragement to apply other strategies to meet the task
      at the self regulation level: students are supported to self assess and seek help where they need it
      at the self level: students evaluate how they are learning and make their thinking explicit.

The big idea is ‘know thy impact.’
Teachers make a difference when they evaluate their own impact. Teachers often believe that they give a lot of feedback to students however how much do they actually receive?  Hattie encourages teachers to talk less and listen more to what students are saying or asking about their learning. He highlights the value of praise when forming relationships but suggests that when praise and feedback are given together, it is the praise that students remember.  Powerful feedback is about supporting students to identify their next steps in order to move forward by extending their thinking.

10 Mindframes for teachers- what educators believe about learning matters.
  1. My fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of my teaching on students’ learning and achievement.
  2. The success and failure of my students’ learning is about what I do or don’t do.
  3. I want to talk more about learning than teaching.
  4. Assessment is about my impact.
  5. I teach through dialogue not monologue.
  6. I enjoy the challenge and never retreat to “doing my best”.
  7. It’s my role to develop positive relationships in class and staffrooms.
  8. I inform all about the language of learning.
  9. I recognize that learning is hard work.
  10. I collaborate.

It is when we listen that we have a higher chance of seeing our practice as our students see it.  It is when we give effective feedback that our students can see themselves as their own teachers.

So what does this message mean for us, within ACCoS?
Our professional learning community is about collaboration. We bring together diverse thinkers who engage in authentic conversation about our impact on learning to help shift our thinking which inspires us to grow as learners.   We need to be listening to each other and to our students, we can share our understanding around effective feedback and we can collaborate to support other teachers in our community.

Where to next for us?
      How do we show our impact?
      How do we interpret our data in our evidence based world? How do we make decisions? How do we we change what we do as we are doing it to make it better?
      How do we provide feedback to teachers about their feedback?

You can purchase Hattie's latest book from Kohia Teacher's Centre or online below.

Hattie, J., & Clarke, S. (2018). Visible learning: Feedback. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

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