Lessons I have learned about feedback:
- What is not constructive is destructive: Feedback is a helpful insight to moving forward, not a list of missteps in paths behind us.
- It’s for reflection not direction: Good feedback makes the learner think through a better answer it does not point to the answer.
- The law of diminishing returns always applies: The impact of the feedback diminishes with time away from the learning.
- Honest feedback means you care: Indifference is a silent speech that echoes in our ears.
- The most meaningful things teachers do is craft responses to student learning: It’s not the lessons or the data, or the grade, a machine could generate those things.
Feedback is where the connection between learners, the empathy of struggle, and the encouragement of a taskmaster, all find a voice.
Well built feedback comes from the piles of data that we gather: It is then enriched and fortified by a teachers experience and understanding of their students. Finally, in the hands of an expert, feedback pushes, pulls, annoys and encourages until a goal is within sight, then fades so the learning is owned by the learner.