The Importance of Feedback

My semester is ended, and now is the time to write some post-mortem entries into this weblog. The first idea is something that is probably obvious, but I over-thought it. I have been been putting more of the course’s assessment at the end of the semester lately, thinking that that is when students are most prepared to do well.

And I am correct, but I took it too far. I did not give my students enough regular feedback during the first part of the semester this spring. My education students actually pointed this out to me—I realized that they were correct as soon as they said it (it also reinforced that they are pretty on top of education issues). Fortunately, I get to teach that course for education majors again this fall; I will make things right this time.

Additionally, I am working on ways of getting students immediate feedback. Clickers are one way of doing this, but I also might have students start grading their own quizzes (I would provide a couple of solution keys and a marker for them) and doing more computer-graded stuff.

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5 Responses to “The Importance of Feedback”

  1. Joss Ives Says:

    I hear you Bret. Without that feedback it is so easy for students to take the parts of the course, which are effectively credited as participation, as strong indicators of how they are doing overall in the course. But they often underestimate how much help they are getting from you, their peers and web resources.

  2. bretbenesh Says:

    Part of the problem was that _I_ was overestimating how much they knew based on it. Specifically, I thought that they knew how to use definitions when they didn’t really. So it was doubly a problem.

  3. Matthew G Jones (@mattguitarj) Says:

    I started this year, and am ramping up for the fall, with clicker-like questions using Google Forms. It’s relatively easy to set up, to share the links, and yes, there is an auto-grading add-on (Flubaroo). I have also thought about flipping the Google Form, so it becomes an out-of-class thing that begins a discussion in class. Anyway, that’s one route to getting some feedback to students…

  4. Summer Plan | Solvable by Radicals Says:

    […] I kept detailed notes (I am grateful I did this), and I mainly updated this course by building in more feedback. In particular, I wrote all of my quizzes for the semester, created solution videos for each quiz, […]

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