Know How students can provide constructive feedback?

How students can provide constructive feedback and help each other?

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Feedback is generally intended to produce a positive outcome by providing someone with comments, advice, or suggestions that are useful for their work or their future. The outcome can be faster processes, improving behavior’s, identification of weaknesses, or introduction of new perspectives. This is a very healthy practice that needs to be implemented everywhere in society, including at home, the workplace, and the classroom.

Constructive peer feedback

Constructive feedback should be a part of the school culture. Positive or constructive peer feedback is feedback from students that help other students improve their creativity in the classroom. Peer feedback provides students with opportunities to learn from each other. Ideally, peer feedback is a two-way process in which one cooperates with the other.

Principles of constructive feedback

SPARK – an acronym that constitutes quality feedback

  • Specific: Comments should be related to a discrete word, phrase, or sentence
  • Prescriptive: Like a medical prescription that aims to solve an ailment, prescriptive feedback should offer a relevant and simple solution or strategy to improve the work, with helpful resources or examples if possible
  • Actionable: When the feedback is given, it should leave the peer knowing what steps to take for improvement
  • Referenced: The feedback should directly reference the task objective, requirements, or target skills
  • Kind: It should be mandatory that all comments be framed in a kind, supportive way

Some groups adapt to SPARK quickly, while others need more practice. For these groups, student-friendly versions of a consultancy protocol or tuning protocol would be helpful.

Teachers are game changers

When teachers ask students to review each other’s work and give vague feedback, we often hear terms like:

“It’s not clear.”

“It’s just wrong.” or

“It’s good” (even when it’s not).

So teachers need to know how to bring out the best in students. Teaching students to give constructive feedback is a (difficult) skill. It takes a lot of practice. But it is worth the effort when teachers get to the point where students learn to give feedback that is meaningful and actionable. Teachers will thus start receiving higher quality work at the end. It is going to save a lot of evaluation time!

Conquer Exam Pressure: 5 Unexpected Solutions to Unplug the Panic

So, how to encourage students to provide constructive feedback to help other students improve their creativity in the classroom?

1. Always model what good feedback looks like

Distribute a sample homework, essay, or whatever assignment your class will be completing. Brief the students about the strengths and weaknesses of the assignment, and show them the art of giving feedback. Show them how it is possible to be specific, honest, and kind at the same time.

2. Ask them to break feedback into smaller chunks

It can be overwhelming if a student gets a lot of feedback on a single assignment. Try giving feedback in small segments. On the first round of feedback, have students look for and highlight the concepts and write in tips to make it more clear. In the second round, they can check for grammatical errors. By breaking it down into smaller, manageable chunks it becomes easier for both the student giving the feedback and the one receiving it.

3. Feedback should be actionable

Students should give actionable feedback. If they just write “answer needs work” in the margin, that isn’t helpful. Why does it need changes? What specifically needs to be improved? If the feedback is not clear, the student receiving the feedback can go back and ask “What did you mean when you wrote this?” and get some clarification.

4. Feedback should be timely

Give the students enough time to read and comment on the assignment, whether in class or as a warm-up for a face-to-face meeting. Do not wait until the very end of the work to do a round of feedback.

Students are engaged with homework and other activities after school, so plan and create in-class time for working on the changes instead of having them do it all at home. Giving feedback multiple times along the way will save them a lot of frustration, confusion, and time in the end.

Also Read: Top 10 ways to build confidence in your students

5. Feedback can be anonymous

Sometimes students do not want to offend or hurt feelings when giving feedback, so they only leave nice comments instead of being completely honest. Students can be encouraged to be more honest in their feedback by providing tools for anonymous feedback, such as sticky notes, or by removing names and numbering the papers instead. Also, negative feedback gets room to be discussed and thus an opportunity for improvement is available.

6. Encourage reflection, not correction

Rather than correcting syntax errors, ask students to focus on providing feedback that outlines clear next steps that peers can take toward improvement.

7. Assign feedback partners

This prevents students from worrying about evaluating friends or letting them choose who to critique in the class. Once students are working in pairs, consider allowing them to share feedback rather than with the whole class, making it a generally less stressful experience for kids.

8. Offer choices

Include an element of choice in the feedback process. This can build student agency and motivation, writes educator Dr. Catlin Tucker in her blog. A peer feedback choice board, for example, allows students to select prompts that provide direction and context for delivering feedback that’s “specific, meaningful, and kind”.

9. Deliver specific feedback

Students often leave general or vague feedback like “I enjoyed your story.” Emphasize the idea that criticism must be both constructive and specific to be helpful. Give examples of what specific feedback sounds like—for example, I liked your simile ‘the rain hit the pavement like arrows’ because it helped me visualize the setting rather than the more general ‘I liked your description.’

10. Suggest usage of sentence starters

This helps bring a personal touch to the feedback given. The students who give and receive feedback can experience a connection with each other. Sentence starters might prompt students to say, “I didn’t get the part about…,” pose questions or suggestions out of curiosity like “What happened next?” or “Maybe you can try…,” or make connections: “Something similar happened to me when…”

11. Prompt deeper engagement

Consider trying an “I like, I wish, I wonder” framework as another way to help focus students on content rather than grammar and spelling errors. It encourages them to interact creatively. When reading each other’s work and giving feedback, they must discuss one thing they liked about the other person’s work, one thing they wished that person had done differently, and one thing they wondered about (for example, how the main character felt about or reacted to an event).

How Peer feedback benefits students

There are positive effects of peer feedback in a classroom setting:

  • Students’ awareness of their mistakes through their friend’s opinions and the collaboration reduces anxiety and can increase learning motivation
  • Sharing opinions with peers helps build and increase one’s knowledge, confidence, and experience
  • Peer feedback helps students to take more responsibility in the learning process
  • When peer feedback is established it allows students to interact with their peers and creates high social skills while learning material more effectively
  • Working in groups gives students more useful life skills that will help prepare them for the future
  • Peer feedback enlightens students’ awareness of the similar difficulties and weaknesses their peers encounter and helps them relate to each other
  • Peer feedback effectively compliments teacher feedback for quality work

How Peer feedback benefits teachers

  • Help build classroom culture and a high-functioning feedback culture
  • It frees up teachers to give more low-stakes assignments
  • It creates more opportunities for students to practice 
  • It democratizes the creative process—replacing the top-down dynamics of more typical classrooms. It makes students equal and accountable parts of learning outcomes 
  • Besides relieving some of the pressure, it creates a classroom culture where students give each other feedback which in turn helps increase student engagement and creativity
  • Having more frequent interactions among students builds rapport and trust and disrupts the idea that the teacher is the only expert in the room

Limitations to peer feedback

Connor and Asenavage’s study in 1994, found that feedback from teachers has more influence on students’ work than student/peer feedback. Students respect and respond more to their teacher’s feedback rather than their peers’ feedback, and they often take peer feedback for granted.

In addition, some students cannot give peer feedback owing to insufficient knowledge. In this case, students hardly learn from others, so peer feedback loses track of its original rationale to help the other students get improvement.

Finally, it can be concluded that constructive feedback by students can motivate the student to continue to work – by encouraging them to do the best they can. It provides evidence of existing good practices.

The students get to know what and why they have done well. It clarifies the expected standards for the piece of assessment. And they get signposts on where and how to improve. Overall a student’s creativity gets boosted to the next level.

Conclusion

Finally, it can be concluded that constructive feedback by students can motivate the student to continue to work – by encouraging them to do the best they can. It provides evidence of existing good practices. The students get to know what and why they have done well. It clarifies the expected standards for the piece of assessment. And they get signposts on where and how to improve. Overall a student’s creativity gets boosted to the next level.

FAQs

1. How can students help each other?

Students can support each other by forming study groups, sharing notes and resources, explaining difficult concepts, providing feedback on assignments, and offering encouragement and motivation. Collaboration fosters deeper understanding and builds a supportive learning community where everyone benefits from each other’s strengths and wisdom.

2. How do you provide constructive feedback to learners to meet their individual needs?

To provide constructive feedback, align it to each learner’s strengths and areas for improvement. Focus on specific examples, offer praise for what they have done well, and suggest ways for improvement. Be empathetic, encouraging, and clear in your communication, promoting a positive and supportive learning environment.

3. How students’ feedback on teaching would help the teachers?

Students’ feedback on teaching helps teachers identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement in their instructional methods, communication, and classroom management. It provides valuable insights into students’ learning experiences and preferences, enabling teachers to adapt their strategies to better meet the needs of their students and enhance overall learning outcomes.

4. How do you teach children to help others?

Teachers can teach children to help others by creating a sense of empathy and responsibility in children. They can model kindness, encourage cooperation, and promote activities that involve helping others, such as community service projects or classroom volunteering. By encouraging a culture of compassion and teamwork, teachers empower children to make positive contributions to their communities.

5. How do you help students build relationships with each other?

We can help students build relationships with each other in the following ways-
promoting collaboration through group activities,
encouraging open communication and active listening,
enabling a supportive classroom environment where everyone feels valued and respected, and
organising team-building exercises or icebreaker games to promote friendship and trust among peers.

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