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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

What feedback models or processes do you prefer?Question 2 for assessment 3

What feedback models or processes do you prefer?

I read and connected immediately with the I.C.E. model (FostatyYoung & Robert J. wilson 2000) for assessing and thought of how it had similarities with Kolb's (1984) cycle of Adult learning. See my earlier post, Link to activity Eight.  His suggestion is that there are 4 stages to learning which link in a circle.
Concrete experience - reflection - abstract conceptualisation - active experimentation - and back again.
If this is a basic concept of how a person learns, then having an assessment model that aligns closely with this cycle e.g; formulating ideas or facts - making connections - and applying it (I.C.E.), follows the learning patterns and behaviours of adults , in theory should have a process of growth and deeper learning.  If the assessment type aligns and matches the learning outcomes then the process of feedback is an important component of the procedure.  Matching the type of feedback given and at the appropriate time would be important factors to consider.

Much of the facilitating I do is practical based and I assess by observing an interaction or activity.  I find the best process of feedback in these situations is an immediate verbal, one on one interaction.  Hattie & Timperley's (2007)  table would show this as feedback at Task level, correcting at a surface level.
One of the techniques I use I learnt from a colleague who has an outdoor education background and finds this useful to feedback in the first instance and then to encourage the learner to use it to self monitor their progress as they develop the skill(s).  By encouraging the learner to use this process themselves this would help with their deeper learning. (Self regulating).

  • Start - I would like to see you start doing........
  • Stop - I would like to see you stop doing......
  • Keep - I would like to see you keep doing.......
( Similar to Start,Stop,Continue)

Another form of feedback I use which has a reflective component to it is in a similar vein to the previous example;

  • What ( What did you do?  How was your performance?)  Task
  • So what ( What does it mean?)  Process level
  • Now what ( How can this be improved? what can you do differently?) Self regulating
Adventure Education, Miles & Priest (1990)

Why is feedback important?

It is an important part of the learning process, gaining effective feedback helps the learner to reflect on the experience and improve next time.  If there is no feedback then there would be no opportunity for self regulation or awareness of where improvements/changes/adaptions where needed and change would not happen.

What are the challenges or issues with assessment feedback?

  1. Often difficult to give feedback in a timely manner, particularly if it is verbal, if not given at the right time then the moment is lost
  2. It is easy to be too general with feedback, 'great job' doesn't really offer any real information for improvement 
  3. It can be hard to get the right mix of positive and negative feedback without being too nice or too harsh
  4. 'By being honest and straightforward, and by offering balanced feedback, the people you influence can build skills and confidence at the same time. ' Gail Anderson Giving and receiving feedback
How do you balance how much feedback to give?

This is difficult to do especially if there are big classes and many practical activities. There must be an effective feedback process that is easily adaptable and straightforward.   One that can be used to produce a consistent outcome for the learner.


  1. Helen your approach to the facilitation of reflection and the giving of feedback is really interesting. I like the way that you have aligned Hattie & Timperley's (2007) model of feedback with John Driscoll's model of reflection - what, so what, now what?

    Your connection of the ICE model to Kolb's experiential learning cycle is also a fresh way of looking at both models. Others have done the same to make sense of the different models.

    Apparently the key terms What?, So What? and Now What? originated with Terry Borton in 1970, and John Driscoll took them in 1994, 2000 and 2007, and developed them up into an experiential learning cycle - called Driscoll's cycle. Is this the same as that mentioned by Miles & Priest (1990)?

    - How do you encourage feedback at the Self-level (Hattie & Timperley, 2007) where students need to engage in self-evaluation?

    Your points about the challenges of giving feedback are useful. Have you any solutions for counteracting the difficulties?

    For example, having to balance positive and negative feedback may not be an issue if students are given the opportunity to self-evaluate their performance first.

    A simple question such as: "How do you think you went in this task?" often helps the student to verbalise where they went wrong rather than being told - it is probably likely that the student has already recognised where he/she went wrong anyway. This technique was shown in the assessment video I showed in class. _video Assessment for learning - effective feedback

    Once they have expressed the areas that were done well or done badly, this opens up an opportunity for the teacher to extend their learning - using the approaches described in the ICE and Hattie & Timperly (2007) models of learning and feedback.

    If more self-assessment and peer-assessment strategies are used then timing of feedback may also not be an issue. Any further thoughts?

  2. Hi Helen. Reading through your post about feedback reminded me of a component of our Preceptorship Course. This course is one we make freely available to registered midwives who are working alomgside our students in clinical placements,and forms one part of a whole module on assessment and evaluation. I have just figured out that I can't upload it here (it's a pdf document, so will see if I can add it somewhere else...)

    Another thing we do is we have a peer assessment component in one of our group activity assessments. This is a whole paper which is conducted over four days, called Integrated Practice. The students are randomly allocated into groups, and may be very geographically spread eg Lower North Island students could be from anywhere in the region between Wellington, Whanganui and Palmerston North. They are given a clinical scenario, and have three days to work on a group presentation which must demonstrate integration of threads of knowledge/research/practice across all the other papers they have completed over the year - so they have to cover the bioscience, evidence-based practice, social, pharmacolgical, psychological, nutritional and sustainable aspects of the scenario. As part of the assessment, they score one another on their individual contributions to the group process, which a really useful incentive for students to work hard to get 'their' bit really integrated into the whole.The fourth day is where all the students present their work face-to-face, and this day is one of the highlights of the year for we lecturers, as we can observe their growth and communication skills, and celebrate their burgeoning knowledge and readiness for practice.

  3. Hi Suzanne,
    Thanks very much for your comments! I like your ideas for the peer assessment component and if you read my later post I have just tried something very similar. I got them to score themselves on the work they contributed and they were able to comment in their feedback to me, how well they felt the others contributed to the tasks. The blog worked well as I was able to gage the quality of the contributions. Next year I might give them a formal template to add to the blog with more specific questions to help them during their meetings.
    I will get them to score one another as well. So thanks.