Teaching Alternatives To Common Written Feedback

Universal learning systems use of written feedback to try and improve students performance. Teachers use this form of communication to commend and raise concerns about students performance. But sometimes students don’t act upon this feedback. Written feedback has been ruled out by a good number of teachers. Teachers have been marking student papers and books while providing written feedback in red ink. All this in effort to improve students performance. Unfortunately most of the advice they give is not always followed. Opinions by both teachers and students have revealed that the best way is to tackle students problems on an individual level with elaborations.

Existing Method

Teachers spend a lot time marking books, putting red question marks and writing comments. The main elements in the existing written feedback method include constructive comments and realistic targets set by the teacher. Rhetorical questions are also used to bring the student to attention about their efforts. Teachers proceed to hand out these books while hoping the student will take the feedback seriously. After all, nothing will make a teacher happy than students with good grades.

Concerns

These written comments, targets and rhetorical questions are having no impact on students performance. Students look at these comments and ignore them. This is very sad seeing teacher’s efforts go to waste. Many students were also asked to give an honest opinion. Apparently, they ignore the comments all the time by looking at the page and turning a new leaf. When it comes to marking and written feedback students are interested in what they got and not what to do next.

Student Preferences

A recent research which was done using a questionnaire provided an insight on what most students prefer. Students preferred quality and personalized feedback from the teachers. Teachers also realize they wanted the same when they were students. Apparently, the most effective way is to have the teacher take students through areas of improvement while commending students’ good performance.

Alternatives

The best way to improve student’s performance is for teachers to be creative in class. All students should be engaged in learning on an individual level. Teachers should also be ready to provide more input like taking time to talk to the students. Some performance problems are associated with social problems like family divorce. Allow students to read and answer questions in their scope. This is then followed by tutorials to individual students. Comments should be made on an individual level. This allows teachers to point exact areas that need improvement as opposed to plain comments like put more effort.

We should allow students to point out areas they feel overwhelmed on an elemental level. Teachers can cultivate on these areas and offer relevant instructions and recommendations. Teachers should take an initiative to revise all areas of concerns after marking. Another effective way is to take time and offer insights on what should have been done to make the concept right. The student will able to see how the teacher is interested in their learning process. Also motivating comments work better than neutral or aggressive comments like plain questions marks in red.

These methods allows students to acquire skills of problem solving. Teachers should allow other people like supervisors to assess their method of teaching. This will allow then to be on track as well as remain motivated. This is a rewarding way of teaching which keeps both teacher and student happy. The marking system, targets and performance management will still be there. But these methods will reinforce these existing tutoring techniques. There is also a lot of politics in teaching since people are seeking new methods of teaching. The best we can do is spend time with our students or children. Problems are more solved with an individual approach.

Conclusion

The technique of scribbling books is adopted by teachers worldwide. As teachers write all those comments and targets hoping that students will take it seriously. Unfortunately, students look at these comments and ignore them. Apparently, comments that are tailored for specific areas regarding an individual students is the way to go. Students prefer is these comments were made on an individual level. A trip down the memory lane among teachers reveals that they also wanted the same thing. These methods among others like posing a wide spectrum of questions and testing students before the learning experience allows for effective teaching.