Methods of giving feedback

  1. Explaining the different methods of giving feedback
  2. Demonstrating good practice in giving feedback to peers.
  3. Completing a self-evaluation to reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of your own teaching and feedback methods. (Peer feedback is applicable to micro-teaching session only.

According to the Web page, feedback is an “important concept of education” which can “make or break any educational activity” (Web page (wp) 1). Feedback has been described as “conversation between the teacher and learner” (wp1) and as a “communication skill” that ensues from the assessment process. Its aim in the teaching and learning process, as Wilson (2008) p 310 states is to:
…celebrate strengths, give constructive advice on weaknesses and identify
areas for further development. It is essential in the assessment process, and its
main purpose is to let learners know how well (or not) they are doing (Wilson2008).

Feedback takes into consideration the diverse starting points of each student; cultural background, initial formation, “individual traits and personality” (Students ed. wp 2) so care must be taken so that positive feedback is ensured which builds up confidence and motivates the learner (see Wilson 310).

Methods of Feedback:
Common feedback methods include:

-Written feedback (see Williams wp3)
If feedback is simply marking or underlining the work of a student to indicate error without clear explanation, it is seen to be unproductive. The student must be clear about what needs to be improved and how it can be improved. Written feedback therefore needs to be clear and be given with the intention of motivating. One’s strengths are upheld, and his/her weaknesses highlighted in a way that encourages improvement.

This method enhances written feedback and enables the teacher and the learner to discuss and clarify written comments or underlining to facilitate improvement. It can also be used in other circumstances without reference to written feedback.
-Oral feedback
Although tutorials are oral feedback they do not exhaust that definition. This method can be used in a question and answer session or over the phone. It is used when the teacher praises what is done by the student, encourages, supports and many other ways.
This is can be used during group or pair work. The teacher gives feedback by a word of praise, acknowledgement of work being done, expressions, gestures and words of encouragement.

Methods of constructive feedback
Wilson (2008) p. 311 suggests three ways by which oral or written feedback can be given constructively to enable development without falsifying “the learner’s abilities”. She proposes the use of the three methods together as “the feedback sandwich” (praise sandwich – see Willet, class notes), where comments about needed improvement are made between two statements of praise. 1 Wilson presents the feedback sandwich as follows:

1. As a positive opener
The teacher starts with a positive statement to “reassure and relax” the learner. The idea here is to identify anything good about the learner and mention it first. Comments will be based on the issues assessed and will be given without comparing him/her with other people (See Wilson 2008).
2. A developmental statement
Comments about things needing improvement are introduced here. This works as effective dialogue between the teacher and learner, with input by the learner initiated by questions such as “How do you think…?” What would you do if…” (Wilson 2008) p. 312 and building on the answers received.
3. A Motivational close
Appraisal is made here – a statement geared to motivate and “incite the learner to take on board recommendations and leave them feeling positive about their performance.” Wilson (2008) p. 312 holds that at this point it would be ideal for the learner to suggest the way forward. This action will increase motivation.
Medal-Mission Model
Apart from the sandwich method of giving constructive feedback, we also treated the “Medal-Mission” method in class. Here praise of the learner’s performance is followed by a statement of mission whereby the learner is advised to take the opportunity next time to enhance an action the teacher realises needs to be addressed.

B. Effectiveness of my feedback methods during my micro teaching
During my micro teaching I generally used verbal feedback by which I acknowledged the responses to my questions, praised and encouraged good insights. I also observed group work and responded to the activities with positive feedback. My feedback to the clip chart presentation was by acknowledging the different concepts of the bible presented by the students, then collating them under two main concepts which they presented we agreed best described the way Christians regard the Bible (Word of God and written by humans to which I added “divine self-revelation”). I used this concept to talk about the Christian notion of the bible all through the session. I thought it had worked well.

Nevertheless, Peer group feedback mentioned the need to speak less and allow for more class interaction so it means that this method of feedback which utilised lecture (or explaining) as a teaching method needs improvement. Perhaps it comes by practice.

It has been a very exciting course and a great learning experience. The micro-teaching experience itself is challenging and full of opportunities as we learn from each other.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts