I’ve done a ton of reading and writing and experimenting with feedback and assessment practices over the past few years, and no single quote resonates more with me than this one from Dylan Wiliam:

(Click here to view original image, credit and copyright on Flickr)

Slide - Feedback as Detective Work

Dylan is right, isn’t he?

If feedback is truly going to be meaningful, then students need to do more with it than simply read it and file it away in their notebooks.  Our goal as teachers should go from grading papers and telling students what we see to helping students unravel the mystery in their own learning.  The power in feedback doesn’t come from delivery.  It comes from discovery.

My buddy Paul Cancellieri calls the moments when we ask students to review the work that they have submitted and to reflect on both the content and the skills that they have already mastered the “essential epilogue” of every learning experience.  Jan Chappuis says it like this:  “It turns out that it isn’t the giving of feedback that causes learning gains, it is the acting on feedback that determines how much students learn.”

So how often are YOU turning feedback into detective work in your classroom?



Related Radical Reads:

Peer Feedback Should Start with Observations – Not Evaluations

Feedback Should Be More Work for the Recipient

Giving Effective Feedback is a Work For/Work On Process

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