Webster defines feedback as "helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc." I prefer to call it food for thought. Whenever I grade an assignment or assessment, I always try to provide feedback, not just merely a grade. In my view, a grade is feedback that should help you to improve your performance, just as Webster's definition suggests. I don't want my students to stop at the number or letter grade, but to review what they submitted and correct, or at least learn from, their mistakes. What good does the mark do if they don't know how they can grow?
I've also evolved my grading in that I don't state how many they missed, but rather how many they got right. Whenever possible, I also point out what they did right, not just what they need to improve on. I want them to begin with the positive and build on their strengths. Let's face it when we feel positive, we tend to be more confident moving forward.
I've always believed that school is preparation for life. Once we enter the workforce, we are expected to give an optimal performance. If a mechanic doesn't fix my car, I will take it back and make sure he gets it done right. I don't just give him a rating and drive a broken car. If my doctor misdiagnoses me, I will go back until she gets it right. We don't stop until the final product or result meets our expectation. Well, neither should students. While we don't always have time to allow students to reattempt the assessments until they get 100%, we often do have the opportunity for some do-overs. And even when those redos aren't possible, at a minimum, we should provide feedback that will tell them what can be done to improve their performance beginning what they are doing right. In my words, food for thought.
Slow but surely, still aiming for 30 days of blogging. #BestYearEver