CPD Briefing #6: Feedback Techniques

Thanks to Mike WD for sharing some very practical solutions for providing feedback to students. Here are a couple of approaches that Mike shared from his very wonderful Geography department:

Match the Teacher

A very simple and effective approach to providing feedback for written assignments.
1. Photocopy the submitted work
2. The teacher uses simple colour coding to highlight key aspects of the level mark scheme
E.g. in Geography they may look at: Key Words (yellow), Facts & Place Names (red), Elaboration of Sentences (green arrows)


3. The students are then provided with a mark scheme and set the same task, to be completed on their original work PRIOR to receiving the teacher version for comparison.
4. Students can then compare their results, and also their own level / grade conclusions with that of the teacher.

The task can be particularly effective as a peer marking exercise, and can open up valuable discussions on assessment.


Improving & Re-visiting

The power of multiple ‘drafts’ is something that has grown prominence, mainly in the wake Ron Berger’s Ethic of Excellence book and his ‘Austin’s Butterfly’ video. It was also the prompt for this recent gallery critique approach here.

Mike made valuable reference to @LearningSpy’s summary which provides this simple structure for peer feedback.Screen-Shot-2013-07-21-at-10.04.40

The Geography department have found that where students might have been reluctant to re-do and develop work they are now seeing improvements in this area. Another useful tool here has been an Improving & Re-Visiting Prompt Sheet which encourages students to document key areas for development alongside reflections on previous errors such as vocabulary and spelling.


Key Word Cards

Pretty straightforward, as the best solutions often are: Cards that  emphasize the main items required within assessment objectives and mark schemes. Students can have these available on their desks for sorting and referencing exercises.


Progress Checker

Quite rightly the myth of demonstrating progress in an observed 20 minutes has been dispelled, however, measuring progress remains a valid port of call on any learning journey. Here is an example that the Geography Department have been sharing with students to prompt reflections on progress:


‘Today’s lesson will help me in other lessons because…’ is a particularly good prompt for linking learning across subject areas. That’s certainly one I’ll be putting to students in my next lesson.

Thanks to Mike and the Geography Department for sharing their ideas. Would be great to hear what is useful from here, or any further thoughts, ideas and suggestions via the comments below.

11 thoughts on “CPD Briefing #6: Feedback Techniques

  1. Chris on

    I think that this is great! It promotes literacy, teamwork, constructive advice and how to progress. I have started using some of the techniques already. Keep up the fantastic work Geography!

  2. Joe rodway on

    Really nice ideas, the use of the colour coded system makes it very obvious for pupils to identify with. This has become a main stay of my marking since. Joe

  3. Katy Muncer on

    The colour coding system has been utilised by the Drama dept since this CPD. It’s already having a huge impact on the students work and we are seeing significant improvements. The only problem is that we’re out of highlighters now… thank you!

  4. Bryan Bull on

    Great ideas here, we dont have the essay type answer in Tech but this approach can quickly make students aware that in the paragraph length answers we use they have “nailed” it. (pun intended!) This approach should get the succicnt full mark answer that we require for improved exam performance.

  5. Sophie Manley on

    This is a great idea. The colour system makes is easy for the students to see what they need to do and to work and for you to have a clear conversation with them about progress.

  6. Amanda on

    We’ve started to use use some of these ideas. They also help students to take responsibility for their own learning

  7. Noeleen Ryan-Smith on

    In Science, we have a similar system for students to track where they have lost marks on exam questions, but not using colours. We have 4 letters:
    R – not READ the question properly
    W – writing a vague answer or not including the correct subject specific vocabulary.
    U – not UNDERSTANDING the science being asked about
    K – lack of KNOWLEDGE of that topic
    This could be adapted to have each letter in a different colour to quickly see where most marks have been lost.

  8. Lucy Hawker on

    I am going to use the idea of the progress checker placemat after the next assessment and feedback session – I think it is a great way to encourage the students to be reflective and also support those who struggle with seeing the bigger picture.

  9. Maria Mezzullo on

    I use the colour coding of answers quite a bit in History, especially at KS5. It is particularly useful in helping students re evaluate their own work and realise what they need to do to improve. I use colour coding to help them structure individual paragraphs along the lines of Point Evidence Explain (so they keep focused on the question and avoid waffle), and to help them structure longer essays by picking out key features such as judgement, debate, source knowledge and own knowledge, use of connectives and so on. It is also helpful to do this activity to a model answer after they have tackled their own.

  10. Sarah Johnson on

    The ideas for improving and revisiting are interesting. It’s been a challenge to persuade students that re-writing a task is not a punishment because the first one wasn’t good enough, but an opportunity to build on the learning experience. The progress checker is a fabulous idea – as Lucy said, seeing the bigger picture is challenging for many, and these questions are great prompts.

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