Few would argue the importance of feedback to increase student achievement even without having read the research from John Hattie. With an effect size of .73, Feedback is almost double that of the hinge point .4, making it an effective instructional strategy that is applicable across disciplines and grades. What is clear when distilling information regarding the what & how of effective feedback is that the components are similar in the research and theory but the variability lies in the inhibiting factors and culture of feedback in the classroom.
Top Teaching Strategy according to the research done by John Hattie
So how do we as educators recognize and remedy the variability of feedback to maximize the effect size Hattie found in his meta-analysis involving more than 150 million students to move from Feedback to Punctuating Feedback! as Nuthall and Alton-Lee named it?
Feedback as defined by Hattie and Timperley, “Feedback relating to actions or information provided by an agent (teacher, peer, book, parent, internet, experience) that provides information regarding aspects of one’s performance or understanding.”
Educators and theorists have an often similar definition, relating to students asking and answering: Where am? Where to next? How do I get there?
Punctuating Feedback includes the time given for students to process feedback, an understanding of how to interpret the feedback, and classroom culture to support applying skills gained through the feedback. The greatest impact of feedback occurs when it is supported by effective teaching and learning strategies.
Maximizing a Culture of Feedback
- Feedback sits within a formative assessment framework. It includes “where to next” and “how to improve”. Adjusting teaching depends upon this information.
- Internal motivation to promote curiosity and willingness to learn and deepen the current understanding. Active involvement by students in their own learning and recognizing growth from where they began to where they are now; not a comparison against other students.
- Embedded challenge mindsets, mindframes, metacognition, and deliberate practice, spaced not massed are effective.
- Normalizing and celebrating of error is the key to new learning and promotes a culture of actionable feedback.
- Equity in learning is maximized through mixed ability grouping.
- Feedback needs to be task-related rather than ego-related. Comments vs. grades equal greater gains in student achievement.
- All of this is “underpinned in the belief that all students can improve.” (Hattie)
When Effective Feedback is coupled with a Culture to maximize it, variables are lessened and ALL students improve.
Source: John Hattie and Shirley Clarke. Visible Learning Feedback. 2018.