Feedback an important role in schools

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I would like to bring to your attention how the effective use of feedback is an integral part of formative assessment and how it plays an important role in schools today. Feedback has been considered to be a type of formative assessment; consequently feedback is fundamental information for the learner to improve performance. It is important to understand the different types of feedback and their purposes. These feedback selections include the following timing of feedback, the amount of feedback, mode of feedback, the appropriate audience, choosing the content of your feedback.

Feedback is integral to learning and can meet many needs. McMillan (2009, p139) expresses how it is important for students understand that feedback shows how the performance compares to a standard. It provides learners with a sense of their progress by identifying their strengths and weaknesses, in doing so; it allows the learner to work in an informed way. "Feedback about process gives students information about how they approached the task, information about the relationship between what they did and the quality of their performance, and information about possible alternative

strategies." (Brookhart 2009) It can also influence the teacher's interaction with the learners. Feedback helps learners to get started by facilitating them to assess their existing knowledge and ability. Feedback can assist students to situate their own knowledge, and skills in relation to other members of the class. Alternatively, feedback may employ new ideas or ways of understanding a concept, problem or situation.

Timing of feedback is critical, as is its quality, in that it must be purposefully structured to suit the needs of the learner. Brookhart (2009) article states to give effective feedback timing needs come while students are mindful of the topic, assignments, or questions.

It requires the learner to still have reason to work and strive towards the learning objectives.

Next is the amount of feedback, teachers need to ensure that they provide learners clear instructions of what is required from them. Teachers should choose points that relate to learning objectives Brookhart (2009) suggests that students get enough feedback so that they understand what to do. The mode of feedback is the communication that a teacher decides the best way to inform a learner about their performances'. Teachers may demonstrate, write comments, or observe and address the situation orally." Talking with students is usually best, because you can have a conversation." (Brookhart, 2009). Addressing the audience requires a teacher to ensure that communication with a student or a group of students, understands the specific feedback. The purpose of audience feedback is to ensure that students understand any misconceptions when learning; therefore teachers need to ensure that clear and concise feedback relates to their learning unit, topic, questions and assignments.

When choosing the content of feedback it needs to address these four factors, focus, comparisons, functions and valances. Firstly the focus relates to feedback of the task, feedback about the processing of the task, feedback about self-regulation and finally feedback about the self as a person. The focus plays an important role in today's schools because, the main focus feedback purpose is to describe particular qualities of the work in relation to the learning targets, to observe students' learning processes and strategies that will support them to improve, to develop student self-efficacy by drawing connections between other peers work . Reynolds (2009 p. 54) article suggests that every student needs critical friends because; a student might ignore feedback from a teacher but suddenly pay attention when a peer voices their observations. Peer and self-assessments can help students become more efficient and effective learners. The next factor is comparison feedback, it purpose is to compare a learners work to a learning target or objectives, as well as comparing a learners' work with their own previous performances. Functions are for teachers to identify students the strengths and weaknesses in the work communicating what you observe in their work without making any judgements.

The last factor is valence, which is very important in learners' educational needs, teachers that provide a positive and motivational approach when addressing a learners abilities influence a learner to strive and achieve and improve their performances' Brookhart (2009) discusses how being positive means ".describing how the strengths in a student's work match the criteria for good work and how those strengths show what the student is learning. Being positive means pointing out where improvement is needed and suggesting things the student could do about it."

I am sure that you would agree that all the aspects of feedback that have been discussed play an important role in today's schools. Feedback is an effective tool for teachers to use and facilitate learning within classrooms, accompanied by the vital purposes for instance assessing outcomes or objectives, to motivate learners' thinking and challenge their alternative ideas. The key ideas of feedback are to assist students' to make meaning and develop being an active learner.

Regards

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References

Brookhart, S. (2009). How to give effective feedback to your students Educational Leader. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108019/chapters/Types-of-Feedback-and-Their-Purposes.aspx

McMillian, J. (2007). Classroom Assessment Principles and practices for effective standards (4th ed.). United States of America: Pearson Education, Inc.

Reynolds, A. (2009) Why every student needs critical friends. Educational Leadership 67(3) 54-57.

Retrieved July 15, 2010, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov09/vol67/num03/Why-Every-Student-Needs-Critical-Friends.aspx

Topic 8: The Key Principles for Quality Assessment

There are many key principles to quality assessments. Assessments are collected from multiply sources, and are primarily used to identify learners' deep understandings, reasoning, skills and other activities which students should apply knowledge and skills. Therefore assessments are linked to learning goals or objectives and students need to be clear of these expectations, as well as being an effective tool to assist student learning. Assessment should provide meaningful feedback to students and allow for them to take responsibility of their learning. Assessing learners should be balanced between summative and formative assessments. Department of Education and Training Queensland (2010) policy document states that assessment is an ongoing process "it is used to gathering evidence to determine what each student knows, understands and can do - to inform teaching and support student learning. Assessment also provides data to inform reporting on the achievement of individual students or groups of students".

KEY PRINCIPLES

The Purpose- Relates to why the assessor needs to conduct the assessments, which will use the results and what decisions will be made from the results. Teachers consider how students will best be able to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do, and select the assessment instrument that fits the purpose. "The purpose is to inform others, programme planners, supervisors, teachers, parents and students the overall level of performance" (Chappuis, S. Chappuis, J. Stiggins, R, 2009).

Identify learners' deep understanding, reasoning, and skills- Focus on students' (Killen, 2005) learning is the student reaching the goals or objectives set within the curriculum. These learning targets and objectives are divided into groups, deeper understanding which is what specifics and concepts we want students to know, reasoning targets are to how learners use knowledge to reason ands problem solve. Skills are allowing students to use their knowledge to preform, demonstrate their understanding to a specific skill. Killen R (2005) article on programming and assessment for quality teaching and learning discusses how assessment for learning clearly expresses the student demonstrates their learning will be judged on the goals of learning activities. Quality assessment is an effective tool that can assist learners to deepen understanding, reasoning and their skills.

Be an integral part of the teaching and learning process- Teachers make judgments about how well a student has learned by focusing on the evidence from students, but if assessment shows that the concept of learning is not evident, then teachers need to reflect on teaching re-adjusted to ensure concepts have been understood. Killen (2005) article discusses how the results of assessments are used to reflect on what students have achieved and can be used to modify teaching programs to improve students learning.

Balanced between summative and formative assessments- assessment programs should include a range and balance of formative and summative tasks. The range could include, for example, anecdotal records, diagnostic assessments, running records, extended writing, concept maps, oral presentations, demonstrations, projects and self-assessments. It is important to ensure there is a range and balance of assessment and assessable elements across all KLAs. Quality assessments require multiple measures to ensure fairness and equality learning is for all learners. Teachers need to plan various assessment methods to validate a student's learning development. Winger, T (2009) article grading what matters considers "if high order of thinking matters most, then that is what our grades must assess, record, report and reward".

Feedback- . Assessment should provide meaningful feedback which will promote students to take responsibility of their learning. Providing quality and useful feedback is a fundamental step for supporting learning. The goal of feedback is to inspire students to become better learners' through encouraging independent learning and providing the necessary motivation for them to improve. Killen (2005) article states that assessment for learning provides ways for students to use feedback to improve their learning.

References

Chappuis, S. Chappuis, J. Stiggins, R. (2009, November). The Quest for Quailt. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from Educational Leadership Multiple Measures: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov09/vol67/num03/The-Quest-for-Quality.aspx

Department of Education Queensland. (2010). Retrieved July 19, 2010,

from P-12 Cirriculum Framework Policy: http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/framework/p-

12/docs/p-12-policy.pdf

Killen, R. (2005). Programming and Assessment for quality teaching and learning. South Melbourne: Cengage.

Winger, T. (2009). Grading what matters. Retrieved July 17, 2010, from Educational leadership, 67(3), 73-75.

Topic 10: National testing; recording and reporting

"Schools risk becoming 'exam factories' as teachers come under increasing pressure to meet the demands of a national curriculum, and calls to ensure that all students attain benchmark levels in national testing"

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