Giving great classroom feedback is one of the most effective ways to improve student learning and overall performance. But all feedback is not created equal. In fact, bad feedback can be counterproductive to the same degree that great feedback can drive success. So what characteristics make great feedback great?
The top 5 characteristics of great classroom feedback:
Great classroom feedback is…
- Timely. It arrives while the student is still thinking about the work and while there’s still time for improvement.
- Descriptive of the work, not the student personally. It focuses on one or more strengths of the work and provides at least one suggestion for a next step. Don’t assume that your students know what they did well and that they only need corrections.
- Positive. It shows how learning is a journey forward, and it’s honest about both strengths to build on and weaknesses to improve. Its tone conveys to the student that the teacher thinks of him or her as an active learner.
- Clear and specific. It’s specific enough so the student knows what to do next, but it leaves the student with some thinking to do.
- Differentiated. It meets the needs of each student with respect to the current work. For some students, a reminder is all that’s needed for a next step; others may need prompts or examples.
Source: How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students, by S.M. Brookhart (2008). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Learn More about ACSD: Founded in 1943, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner.
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