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Whole-class feedback: is this really a workload timesaver?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    One teacher believes that, if implemented correctly, could help teachers?

    ‘Critics argue that this approach destroys individualised feedback and can hinder the highest attainers’ progress, due to them not having a misconception in the first place. Those concerns are valid, but only if whole class feedback is used badly.

    When done well, whole-class feedback can save hours of teacher time and actually significantly improve student outcomes. But it is in danger of being seen as a fad because it is being misunderstood.

    Wrong approach

    Many have misconceptions around how whole-class feedback works. The term itself is a bit ambiguous because it implies everyone gets the same feedback. That may be the case for elements of the feedback, but it is often tailored to groups or individuals within the class.

    And as with anything in education, the idea is just the start – it’s about how the concept is applied that makes all the difference. Whole class feedback is only effective if a teacher, department or school think carefully about what they need in their context.’

    Adam Riches is a specialist leader of education and lead teacher in English

    Do you agree? Are you a fan of whole-class feedback? If yes/no, why? Has it helped you to spend less time on your workload or is the opposite the case?

  2. davidgreams

    davidgreams New commenter

    You need a second person. Someone to handle the help desk activities. You can't run around from building to building replacing computers for end users. You might be able to get a student intern or something, just a few kids that want to learn IT will help here. It could easily count as course credit for them as they're actually learning, and you get little helpers.

    Management tools are a godsend. Install VNC on every computer (or enable remote assistance). RDP is helpful, but you want something where you can actually see the user's screen, so when they have an issue, they can actually show you.

    Personally, I've been liking PDQ Inventory / Deploy for school districts. I'm on a small team that manages servers / infrastructure for ~30-40 school districts. We have over 20000 end users. Our team has less than 6 people total (including the tech director). We manage it pretty well due to our organization and documentation.

    In the end, the goal is to work smarter, not harder. The worst bit is it is a catch-22. To make your life easier / to free up time, you need time to setup that service to do it. But once you get that service up and running, it gives you the free time you need. Instead of looking at it like a catch-22, try looking at it like a snowball effect. Get that one small service up that frees up a tiny bit of your time. Use that tiny bit of time to work on the next service that frees up time, etc.. etc.

    Hell, even if you have to toss together something that barely works to get something else running, as long as you document it and come back to it later, it's fine.

    Edit: If you need any help or anything, let me know. I've always loved the idea of being a district tech, but I'm having a ton of fun where I am currently.
    ajrowing likes this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    another "expert" spouting the bl*******ding obvious.

    Lots of people make the same mistake? Explain it to the class. all these things with long names, we just used to call "teaching"
  4. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Is he saying that whole class feedback is a fad?

    Yet again, it’s good to see that something I’ve been doing since 1982 is cutting edge.
  5. adam_nichol

    adam_nichol Occasional commenter

    My view on this is that for the most part, feedback on what you have handed in is pointless [excluding drafts of coursework].
    The student won't be doing the same piece of work again, so why tell them what specifics they did well or badly at? It just goes straight into the folder/bag anyway.
    Instead, give generic points (factual / conceptual accuracy, SPAG, argument construction, et al, like an exam marks for each pertinent criteria) and get the student to review of they are going to improve their skills for the next assignment. Much quicker for the teacher, and much better for student as improvement is under their direction, not imposed.
  6. ajrowing

    ajrowing Star commenter

    I am hoping that my dress sense will be fashionable again soon too...
    Morgelyn, bessiesmith and Jamvic like this.
  7. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter


    @dunnocks is right.

    Loads of the class make the same mistakes (could be me who didn’t explain it well enough), so whole class get feedback/ re-teach.

    A couple of individuals make different mistakes, talk to them individually.

    How can I turn that into an article to flog to TES or pad it out for a day’s CPD?
  8. rowenamdialino

    rowenamdialino New commenter

    I guess that depends a little on what you are teaching. For me, I tend to give feedback on students understanding of the subject content, especially if any misconceptions become evident from their work. If a large proportion of the class appear to have issues with the same concept, then I will give feedback to the whole class. If it just a few students, I will give that feedback individually. Students may not be doing the same piece of work again, but they should be using the same knowledge & understanding again (even if that is not till their exams SAT/GCSE/A-level), therefore I feel feedback is always important and useful. If students routinely choose to ignore it and put it "straight into the folder/bag" and presumably forget about it, the it is our job as teachers to help them see why that is not in their best interests.
  9. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Bottom line? Not enough hours in the day to follow all the wonderful best practice approaches that exist - looking for best compromise approaches is the way to reduce workload. Time to stop overthinking it.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.

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