Providing Feedback: Generalizations
- Feedback should be corrective in nature.
- Feedback should be timely.
- Feedback should be specific to a criterion.
- Students can effectively provide some of their own feedback.
Use these to improve your practice.
- Use criterion-referenced feedback.
- Focus feedback on specific types of knowledge.
- Use student-led feedback (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 41-42).
Brainstorming for Videoconferencing: Current Practice
Predictably, the technology examples give include comments in Word, classroom response systems, grading software, using web rubrics for criterion referenced feedback, and using games and simulations that provide instant feedback.
What I found surprising was the inclusion of communication software in this section, including “blogs, wikis, email, instant messaging, and videoconferencing” (p. 53). As I read the examples in the book, I thought of these current videoconference programs:
- “ASK Deluxe“, where students blogged two chapters of The Ultimate Gift and gave feedback to each other before the videoconference with the author.
- Monster Match and all it’s variations are in some ways “feedback” to the students on how well they wrote their description.
- The instant message example in the book is of students asking questions of their government representative, which we do on a regular basis with our Senator, Representative, as well as veterans and authors in the ASK program.
- The videoconference example in the book has Spanish students talking to students in Spain, similar to the videoconferences we’ve done with Frank Garcia. In a twist, after the videoconference, students use a blog to give feedback to each other using the other class’ native language.
- MysteryQuest and all its spin-offs is another way that students get feedback from an audience. They get immediate feedback on the quality of their presentation (how well the other classes can take notes). They get immediate feedback on their research skills as they find out the correct answer.
The main point in this section was the feedback from authentic audiences.
Brainstorming for Videoconferencing: New Ideas
So, how can we beef up the feedback in our videoconferences?
- Emphasize talking to experts and authors. First, I think we need to continue to emphasize the value of real-time interaction with student-generated questions to authors and experts. I had a long discussion with one of our veterans who wanted to script the videoconference. The value is in the INTERACTION! There is major value to the students in hearing the answer to a question THEY wrote! We can’t forget this. We must continue to make time for it. To plan deliberately for feedback.
- “Poetry Idol”. I can’t find a blogged entry, but we have had a couple high school poetry performance videoconferences that were stunning. The students performed (not just recited) a favorite poem (theirs or not). The other class rated them, with scores, acting as judges. In another exchange, both classes shared essays with each other, and after each essay, the other class gave specific helpful feedback to the student who just read their essay. Incredibly powerful. If this format could be polished a little more, and both classes used the same criterion-referenced rubric for evaluating work and giving feedback, the students could gain even more from the experience. Students could practice and learn ways to effectively give feedback to their peers.
- Language Exchange. After watching my classes interact with classes in other languages (primarily Spanish), I believe we can beef up the quality of those interactions. With a little more preparation we can get more than just laughing, giggling, and a little bit of language practice. Students should prepare something to present/share in the language (a story, a skit, a song, their own writing, statements about themselves). As students tend to be nervous and self-conscious, visual cards to read and remind them of their lines would reinforce the vocabulary and usage. Students could also prepare their questions on cards as well. Have you experienced cross-language exchanges? What made them go well? What made them effective?
What do you think? Do any new ideas pop into your brain? Share them and I’ll add them, giving you credit, to the next iteration of the Projects Booklet.
Reference: Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.