1. Just in Time Assignment
HOW: Students complete an assignment outside of class related to key concepts. Students submit answers one day before class. You review answers, look for common patterns of strengths, weaknesses, misconceptions. You use students’ responses to prepare for class. You give feedback in class; you can also post feedback online.
WHY: You identify common concerns before teaching. Then instruction can be feedback on what students already know or think about the topic. You use information gleaned from these assignments to determine the appropriate level of challenge for students.
2. Pre-Instruction Test
HOW: In class, students take paper and pencil test or clicker-based test to assess understanding of relevant concepts. You score test items and give feedback, or students discuss answers in pairs or groups and then you give feedback.
WHY: Students learn from taking test (test-enhanced learning). You give real-time or concurrent feedback. You adapt your teaching to your students’ abilities and knowledge, addressing potential trouble spots.
HOW: You give a thought-provoking question to the class. Each student writes a response in 1-2 minutes. Students discuss their answers with a classmate (e.g., convince the classmate that one’s own answer is best or create a third answer that incorporates elements of both answers or evaluate the strengths and limitations of each student’s answer). You ask several students to report their ideas to the entire class, and use these to give feedback, make additional points or highlight key ideas. Option: At the end of class ask students to answer the question again and compare to their initial answer.
WHY: You monitor student learning during class, which makes it possible for you to make mid-class adjustments.
4. Muddiest Point and Turning Point
HOW: Students describe the idea from class that is most unclear or confusing, usually at the end of the class period, but it could be used at any point in the class to monitor student thinking. Or, students explain their understanding of a key idea at a turning point in the lesson (e.g., Now that we have just discussed this topic, take a minute to write about what concept “X” means to you.) Options: 1) Do the exercise during class. Ask several students to read their answers. Give feedback to the class and further discuss questions; 2) Do the exercise at the end of class. Collect answers and give group feedback next class period.
WHY: Identifying students’ difficulties at the end of class period can help you prepare for next class. Students practice monitoring their own understanding. You use information to tailor instruction and assignments to student needs and abilities.
5. Annotated Models and Worked Examples
HOW: Save examples of student assignments to use as models in subsequent semesters. Select examples of both strong and weak work. Annotate examples with feedback indicating both strengths and shortcomings. Review models in class to clarify written comments and answer questions. Options: Use excerpts of current student work as models, ask students to annotate examples, and/or record feedback on samples for use in future class sessions.
WHY: Examples give students a clearer picture of the goal (type of performance) they are working toward. Students can better visualize what successful achievement of goals looks like, which gives them a specific basis for judging strengths and weaknesses of their own (and others’) work.
6. Project Drafts and Milestones
HOW: Collect and comment on work in progress rather than final products. Allow (or require) students to make improvements based on your suggestions. Or, students submit proposals, plans or excerpts of work for feedback. Options: Students give focused peer feedback and/or attach to their drafts a project assessment memo in which they 1) describe their estimation of progress toward learning goals, and 2) explain their plans for revision.
WHY: You avoid the problem of “too little (or too much) too late.” Feedback helps students achieve learning goals rather than functioning merely as grade justification. Requiring students to assess their own progress can help you tailor feedback and save time commenting.
7. Predictive Feedback
HOW: Predict how you will comment on papers, presentations and projects—or capture your actual responses. Create a list of most common problems and then determine the most efficient and effective way to deliver feedback. Options: 1) minimal marking—list common problems and then use a shorthand to indicate them in student work; 2) checklists and rubrics—articulate criteria and performance indicators and present in the form of lists or tables; 3) macros— type in your most common comments and then assign shortcut keys that will automatically insert them into Word, D2L, email messages (e.g. using programs such as Breevy for the PC or TextExpander for the Mac).
WHY: You prepare for feedback on formal assignments so that you may provide it in a more strategic and timely fashion. Students have a clearer sense of expectations for performance and can begin to internalize learning goals, evaluation criteria, and standards.
8. Multimodal Feedback
HOW: Record and share targeted feedback with individuals, groups or the whole class. Record your voice and then embed it into documents or make stand-alone podcasts, which can be shared electronically. Create video clips (e.g. using Jing) in which you capture whatever is on your computer screen as well your voice.
WHY: You create a feedback archive that can be used for multiple purposes, including self-instruction as well as in-class or out-of-class student use. You can incorporate multimodal feedback into tutorials and interactive learning modules.
Authors: Bryan Kopp & Bill Cerbin