Thoughtful Feedback: Seeing Learning in a Different Light
Feedback given in a focused and thoughtful way can encourage students to see learning in a different light. When giving feedback, it is imperative to comment on areas and strengths for continued focus. In what aspects did the students show growth? What knowledge, skills and concepts are they dealing with? Through a focus on opportunities for improvement and growth, students will become more motivated. They also get to see how far they have come because of their hard work and they can put into context the areas where they should focus their energies in the future.
For students to truly grow, they will need something beyond number or letter grades on their work. Every student needs – and wants – some thoughtful observations on what they are producing.
Types of Feedback International School Teachers Give Their Students
The form of feedback is not as important as the idea that the given feedback is timely and specific. Teachers can choose to hold a conference with their students regarding a certain assessment or assignment. They can also stick with oral discussions or leave notes for the students to serve as their guide. Feedback can be written as well and shared with the students in digital or analog formats.
Teachers are not the only ones who can provide feedback. Self-assessment and peer feedback play a crucial role in the process of learning.
“Self reflection and taking constructive criticism are important skills to master if one is to be successful in the global working world.”
For self-assessment and peer feedback to become meaningful, students should be trained to receive and give it well. People need to learn and understand how they can provide specific and purposeful feedback that supports and encourages growth at the same time. On the other hand, self-assessment should require students to judge their personal work in an objective manner to determine the areas where they have made progress and identify those areas that still require improvement. These types of feedback are both difficult to do but after some time and with proper guidance, international school students will learn how to benefit from self assessment and peer feedback. Self reflection and taking constructive criticism are important skills to master if one is to be successful in the global working world.
One powerful analog feedback form is conferencing. This is where people sit down side by side to discuss work and identify the area being talked about to provide students the perfect chance to raise questions, share what they understand of the topic and lay down goals as they go forward. This also nurtures the relationship between student and teacher as they meet in person to discuss aspects of the student’s work.
Digital feedback is a game changer. Digital allows students to get instant feedback from their teachers and peers. Written feedback or a hard copy, although very useful, takes time to produce and oral feedback means setting up a date and time to have a discussion. With digital, feedback can be produced and turned back over to the student in a much shorter time frame. Online forums can be created so students can have group peer and teacher lead discussions online, not only about work that has been produced, but as students are working in real time.
As long as it is thoughtful, constructive and meaningful, feedback is tremendously valuable. It is seldom easy to hear that something you have produced is not perfect, however, with practice, international students will learn that with thoughtful feedback they will get closer to perfection every time.