Are you looking for a way to enhance student achievement? Feedback is a powerful tool for you to add to your arsenal to do just that. The use of feedback is proven to enhance student achievement. The effective use of feedback is the key to driving student success. Feedback itself can be either helpful or harmful. It all depends on how it is used. The appropriate use of feedback is the key. I have found nine points that can help you use feedback appropriately.

 

Check out my video to discover 9 points on using FEEDBACK appropriately

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Feedback is powerful.

Feedback is powerful. John Hattie states, “The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback.” Feedback is supported by research. If you are looking for one thing that you can use to help students succeed, feedback may be what you are looking for to positively impact student achievement.

Feedback is either positive or corrective

Feedback is either positive or corrective. Positive feedback, also referred to as praise, is used to let the student know that their response is correct. Corrective feedback is used when their response is incorrect. The proper use of feedback leads to an increase in the times that responses are correct and a decrease in the number of times that the responses are incorrect. Feedback is a powerful tool for enhancing student performance. This works for behavior as well as for eliciting responses.

 

Positive feedback is used to let students know that they are getting it right. It is for times when the student gets caught being good. Make sure that you use positive feedback more than you use corrective feedback. Strive to use positive feedback three times more than you use corrective feedback. That means for every time you catch a student doing it incorrectly, you catch 3 students doing it right. To do this you must be intentionally on the lookout for correct responses. This requires giving students frequent opportunities to respond and constantly working to increase the correct responses. Maintaining a 3:1 ratio of positive interactions has been validated by research to enhance student achievement.

Positive feedback should be accurate.

Positive feedback should be accurate. Only give positive feedback in situations where the response is correct when you are praising the response. Giving positive feedback for responses that fall short of the mark will cause the feedback to be worth much less to the student as well as damage your credibility. Honesty is the best policy. Accuracy matters. Practice accurate feedback to propel student achievement.

Positive feedback should be specific

Positive feedback should be specific. Tell the student exactly what it is that they are doing correctly. Avoid what I call Globo praise, feedback that is a mere generalization. Being specific is a must in order to use feedback to enhance student achievement. Students need specifics. Avoid telling them “good job,” making a judgment about students, and calling attention to yourself while providing feedback. It is not about you, or even what you think about the student. It is specifically about the response that was given or the behavior that was exhibited at the time. Deal with that…specifically.

Positive feedback should be contingent.

Positive feedback should be contingent. Deliver the positive feedback only when the student exhibits the target behavior or responds correctly. Keep in mind the present student performance as well as his or her past performance. Giving Steph Curry a compliment for hitting two three point shots in a row is silly. However, giving that same praise to a player working on three point shots for the first time is effective. Use feedback to show students how their success will lead to future success. It is important to mention here to never use sarcasm. Sarcasm is neither productive nor healthy. Use feedback to enrich your positive learning atmosphere.

Positive feedback should be age-appropriate.

Positive feedback should be age-appropriate. Feedback that is appropriate for a first grade student is totally different from what will be effective for an eighth grader. Some helpful tips for keeping positive feedback age-appropriate: use a quiet voice, be businesslike, and avoid pausing after praising. Using a quiet voice while giving positive feedback will help lessen the chance of embarrassing the student. However exhilarating we as adults may find praise to be, some students are embarrassed by it and possibly even ridiculed by peers because of it. Remaining businesslike will help you avoid the potential issue of calling more attention to the student than is necessary. By remaining businesslike and not pausing after the praise the feedback fits nicely into the pace of the lesson. The feedback is a natural part of the lesson and therefore limits the chances of it being an uncomfortable situation for the student. Take advantage of age appropriate feedback and use it to increase student achievement.

Positive feedback should be immediate.

Positive feedback should be immediate. Deliver the feedback immediately after the student exhibits the target behavior. Some students will get attention however possible. If feedback for misbehavior or incorrect responses is more immediate than correct responses, then you may find students who are starving for attention, potentially responding incorrectly or misbehaving on purpose. Make sure that positive feedback is immediate and at a 3:1 ratio.

 

Corrective feedback is highly effective. Corrective feedback lets the students know what they are doing that is correct and what they are doing that is incorrect.

Corrective feedback should provide corrections.

Corrective feedback should provide corrections. So you probably just had a “well, duhh moment;” but this is an important point. Do not stop by simply telling the student they are wrong. Students have to be corrected. Imagine if Jordan Spieth’s swing coach stopped at “that swing was wrong.” Trust me, that is not going to happen. His swing coach makes the big bucks for correcting the swing and putting Jordan on the path to success. Students will make mistakes. Our reaction to those mistakes is where the magic happens. Tell the student what they are doing correctly and what they are doing incorrectly, and allow them to continue working until they get it right. Use your corrections to lead the student to the correct response.

Corrective feedback should be delivered calmly and consistently.

Corrective feedback should be delivered calmly and consistently. Providing corrections lets students know that we are serious about them being correct, and we expect them to improve and show growth. Remaining calm lets them know that you are in control and are not alarmed by their incorrect response. Not only that, you have a plan. Students may not admit it, but they want you to care about their success, have high expectations for them, and push them to do their best. Don’t give up on them so easy. Remain nonemotional but nonnegotiable. Corrections should be consistent. Consistency is crucial. While working with teachers on classroom management, I often remind them that consistency is much more effective than severity. There are no magic consequences. The same applies to instructional experiences. Consistently correcting students leads to learning. Correct the student every time. This is important. Inconsistent corrections are not only ineffective; they could allow some errors to become habitual.

Corrective feedback should focus on the correct answer.

Corrective feedback should focus on the correct answer. Keep the main thing the main thing. Correct responses are the main thing. Focusing on the incorrect answer is confusing. It is like giving directions to people by telling them all the streets that they will not turn onto. This causes too much clutter. Clean up corrective feedback by focusing on the correct answer.

Corrective feedback should end with the student giving the correct response.

Corrective feedback should end with the student giving the correct response. Remember do not simply stop with telling the student his or her response is incorrect. The goal is for students to respond often and to respond correctly. By correcting the student and then requiring them to give the correct response, you are taking valuable steps toward the goal. I have often seen basketball players who will not leave the court at the end of a practice session on a missed shot. They never end on a miss. Don’t allow your students to end on a miss. This is also a positive for students because their final answer is correct which leads to praise.

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