Reporting and feedback.

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We are currently in the process of finalizing the half term reports ready to get these sent out to parents very soon.   The purpose of the reports is to provide parents with a view of the areas of strength, areas for improvement and suggested actions which their children should undertake to achieve their potential.   The reports are also aimed at providing the students with the same information so that they can act accordingly.

Basically parental reports amount to student feedback albeit with parents also receiving the feedback for their children.

When looking at feedback in a more general way, as it is used with the normal teaching and learning, teachers have very much started to make use of technology.    This includes electronic submission of work and then electronic feedback.    The reason for the application of technology within this area being that technology facilitates quicker feedback and this, the time between the activity and feedback being received, has been identified as an important factor in the success of feedback.   Students can receive feedback without waiting for the next Math lesson for example and therefore act on it sooner.   As such by using technology teacher feedback can be more effective.

Technology also allows us to vary the format of feedback.   Some students may be happy to receive annotations on their work while other students want verbal feedback.   Some students will benefit from verbal feedback plus a video of a worked example while other teachers would prefer a video of their teacher annotating their work and narrating their feedback.    Technology allows for a variety of different formats of feedback plus even for mixed media feedback to be provided.

Technology allows for feedback to be provided as and when required as opposed to being a fixed points within the year.     A teacher can monitor student work via Google drive or one drive, providing feedback on the work as it develops instead of waiting until it is submitted.   This saves time as feedback is timely and therefore prevents students going too far off courses and requiring significant rework to be undertaken.

In summary, technology:

  • Allows for quicker more responsive feedback
  • Allows for varied forms of feedback.
  • Allows for more dynamic feedback to be issue on an “on-demand” basis.

Despite the above advances of feedback in the classroom we still insist in writing and sending home termly reports.     Isn’t it about time we started using the same technology we use in our feedback within our progress reporting?

Photo courtesy of Amboo213 on Flickr

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Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the Middle East. In addition Gary is a Google and Microsoft Certified Educator.

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