UNPACKING FEEDBACK TO ENHANCE LEARNING
Gone are the days when parents’ hearts swelled with pride to see ‘Good’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Superb’ as remarks in their children’s assignments. Today parents look forward to the feedback that supports skill-building and understanding, rather than just making children jump with joy or feel disappointed. The growing emphasis on the development of the 21st Century skills further accentuates the need for meaningful feedback on learning.
The changing landscape of education and increasing research studies have redefined the purpose and norms of feedback that leads to learning. While encouraging words like ‘Good job’, ‘Well done ’, ‘Keep it up’ motivate learners further to put up their best foot forward and seek perfection always, the above words limit the scope of their learning.
For instance, a student has consciously invested time and effort in creating a poster championing a social cause and even composed their slogan to reinforce the message. Now after putting genuine efforts into the task, just a generic remark would not brief the child about the creativity of his artwork and the scope that still exists for improvement. When the child innately reflects on work and looks for perfecting skills; remarks restricted to encouraging words might leave them directionless and dissatisfied. On the same poster the learner can be given productive feedforward on the relevance of images, use of color contrast, and arrangement of objects that will construct and outline predefined criteria met by the student and will pave the way for future learning goals, success criteria or performance indicators.
We all learn from our experiences. Involving students in deciding criteria for feedback strengthens their thinking skills and supports the agency in learning. They become participants in the learning process rather than merely being recipients. Involving students in deciding feedback criteria promotes transparency and ensures that, given feedback is not dictated by personal choices but is authentic and meets learning goals. It, then, becomes a win-win situation for both, the pupil and the facilitator, as it is the way forward to future learning.
So, look for unpacking feedback to enhance talents.
Written By: Ms. Anjana Sharma (PRT-DPSG)