On the Instructional Leadership page, I affirm that “I believe we should build competencies — skills and knowledge of the curriculum — and the positive attitudes, ethical behaviours and growth mindset to be successful in life.” Feedback is an essential part of this. Nottingham and Larsson (2019) ask teachers to consider whether:
- “students have a positive disposition towards feedback and use it effectively to deepen their learning;
- feedback is high quality and is timed effectively to help students make more progress in their learning; and
- [teachers] use assessment formatively to inform how and who to teach next.” (p. 68)
They caution teachers to first “agree the learning intentions and success criteria with your students. If you don’t do this step then do not give feedback. Give encouragement and challenge but do not give feedback.” (p. 156)
They further suggest that teachers give “feedback in the form of advice, advice, advice. Do not use conventions such as three stars and a wish or the feedback burger in which there are two positives for every one negative. These approaches give credence to the idea that feedback is positive or negative, which is something that should be avoided. Keep your feedback as objective as possible: compare their efforts with the success criteria, then give advice about what to do next to make even more progress towards the agreed learning goals.” (p. 156)
In my robotics course, I begin by co-creating with students a set of whole person expectations related specifically to: Hodinohso:ni` values, gracious professionalism and safety. In the role of critical friend, I intend to share meaningful and objective feedback relating to these expectations both with the class as a whole and individual students as whole persons as advice, possible ways to improve a student’s product or process. I remind students that they are free to accept and implement, implement with modifications or reject the advice according to their best judgement.
In a feedback block atop the student’s BrightSpace Gradebook, I can document this feedback for students, parents/guardians, and other stakeholders. Over time, this provides a useful audit trail of student progress.
Nottingham, J. and Larsson, B. (2019). Challenging mindset. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.