Feedback On My Feedback System

In response to the Dark Lord Pershauron, I’ve decided to see what feedback you all have for my current SBG setup (v 5.0).
The course is Pre-Calculus honors. There are about 40ish standards for the year. About once a week students take a test on several standards (2-4). The first time they see the standard there is no grade; this is an opportunity for the students to see where they are. I started off giving them feedback but moved to self-feedback only: when finished, they go to a feedback station (@fnoschese style), grab a colored pen, look at the key and give themselves feedback. Sometimes they work in their groups to get the feedback and I put the key up on edmodo (all the keys end up on edmodo). They keep these feedback quizzes and put them in their folder.

The second time they see a standard it is for a grade, normally a week or two after we’ve taught the topic in class (grade out of 5: 5, 4.5, 4, 3, or 2). The grade goes in the books as is. They get three reassessment opportunities per term (out of 10-15 total standards per term). They see their graded quiz, but they don’t get to keep the graded assessment.
Things I need to get better at for next year:
Providing feedback myself to the student instead of just leaving it up to them. I like they they take responsibility in knowing what they know and don’t know, but I don’t think they are always able to give themselves the directed feedback that a teacher could give. I get a general idea of where the class is by informally going around and looking at quizzes post feedback, but I don’t have the whole picture. This informal feedback has changed the class, sometimes its obvious that they’ve understood a topic and we can move on, other times it’s clear that we need to take a different look at this material before moving on.

Thoughts? Comments? Let me have it. I see this as shot peening for my grading system. Thanks in advance!

5 thoughts on “Feedback On My Feedback System

  1. I’ve always been concerned with students not keeping their assessments. It feels to me that there is a glorious perfect world somewhere where Ss look back at their work, they ask questions later and they continue to learn from their assessments. I understand the practical aspect, but I always let my Ss keep their work. Have not made the SBG plunge myself, really torn on it and struggle with how different I am willing/able to be from my departmental colleagues in a small school.

    1. I suppose a lot of that depends on the kids and the maybe the classroom environment. These are junior honors kids who keep all their quizzes in the manilla folder that I gave them in the beginning of the year. I don’t let them keep the actual graded quizzes because other teacher give the same assessments and they might be a week behind. SBG is a fun process, it provides a fantastic mirror for you to measure what you truly value in the classroom. Thanks for the comment!

      1. This also gets to how personalized every school/teacher is. At our school even teachers teaching the same course are (largely) making their own assessments so the idea of this type of security does not come into play. That being said, some of my colleagues do collect assessments and keep folders for their students.

  2. I really identify with your commitment to get better at giving kids directed feedback. I made a real ass of myself last summer when I went to the Math Forum and started mouthing off about the irrelevance of teacher-written feedback for students. I turned the corner this year, though, as I started using the Shell Center materials more carefully. One thing that impresses me is the way that they include a list of questions with each of their lessons for feedback.

    It turns out that they have a bunch of resources about giving effective feedback. Here’s a quote from “How can I respond to students in ways that improve their learning?”

    The effective use of formative assessment lessons depends on the quality of feedback given by teachers to students. One important way of moving students’ thinking forward is to prompt them to reconsider their reasoning by asking carefully chosen questions.

    All of their stuff is worth checking out. Maybe that will help you as you start thinking about next year?

    1. Thanks for the reply (and twitter chat). Some interesting stuff going on in this handout on page 3.

      Use divergent assessment methods (“Show me what you know about…”).

      Convergent assessment strategies are characterized by tick lists and can-do statements. The teacher asks closed questions in order to ascertain whether or not the student knows, understands or can do a predetermined thing. This is the type of assessment most used in written tests.
      Divergent assessment, in contrast, involves asking open questions that allow students opportunities to describe and explain their thinking and reasoning. These questions allow students to surprise us – the outcome is not predetermined.

      This quote rings true. But it also reminds me of how far I have yet to go on assessment in the classroom. I feel like I already spend too much mental time on assessment, that I’m feeling the excuses pile up. I have too many preps, not enough time, blah blah blah.
      Great food for thought.

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