23 November 2020

Teacher Voice: A guide to Student feedback

Teacher Voice: A guide to Student feedback

Here at Ealing Independent College, we pride ourselves on the in depth feedback that we are able to provide to students on a regular basis. A considerable part of this is the ‘months marks’ system that we have in place. By having this regular system in place, this ensures that parents are able to identify a clear and consistent line of communication between themselves and the teachers and that they are routinely receiving feedback about the students and their progress. 

Towards the end of last week, we sat down with our Head of Biology, Guillermo, who talked us through his comprehensive approach to marking and feedback. Guillermo provided us with a useful step-by-step summary of his marking resources as well as a template that he uses for student feedback which you can access by clicking here.

Can you talk us through your student marking resources?

I have created a front cover sheet for each one of my assessments. On the cover sheet you can find the information about how many marks the student achieved in each one of the questions as well as the total percentage of the test and the final grade. There are 3 sections to be completed: 

  • The first one is called "What went well". I complete this section after marking the whole paper. I write two skills which the student excels on based on the answers of his/her paper. 
  • The second section is called "Even better if". In this section I write two specific questions based on the topics which the student under-performed throughout the assessment. Rather than outlining general areas for improvement, I find that it is a lot more efficient making students go through the specific content again and re-answering the questions that I have tailored for them. If they do this properly, they would have then revisited their weakest areas.
  • The third section is called "Student response". In this section the students reply to my questions in a detailed manner. After they respond to my feedback, I make sure that I evaluate their answers and I write some extra questions for them to perfect their answers, or, if their answers are already perfect, I write a question to challenge them a bit further. This is particularly effective for our students as it ensures that they are able to firstly identify and then demonstrate their understanding of where they went wrong.

After having completed the whole process, and once the students have shown progress, we go through each one of the questions in the particular assessment.  Students improve their answers using a green pen, after having discussed the questions as a class.

How do you ensure that students are able to access their feedback at home?

Once the whole process is finished, I take pictures of the front cover of their papers and upload them to Google Drive. This allows me to have some evidence of each student's progress. As more assessments start taking place, I am then also able to see if they make the same mistakes, or, on the contrary, if they are starting to improve in the topics that they used to struggle with. A real benefit of the shift to learning online does mean that these resources are a lot more easily accessible, making it even easier to monitor student progress and provide specific feedback to parents whenever they request it. 

In general, the move to online learning during the first national lockdown has really inspired great progress in how we as teachers monitor our students. It has been great to see all of the teachers putting so much effort into ensuring that our students receive the regular feedback they need to ensure that they are reaching their full potential and I am looking forward to embracing the nature of 'flip learning' which will really allow students to drive their own learning methods as independent learners as the academic year progresses. 

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