Session 86 – Is giving feedback an art or a science and should it be taught?

Session Summary:
[pullquote]Do forgive me. It’s not so much about feedback as feedforward.” @MBerry[/pullquote]

As educators, teachers are involved in feedback all the time so the discussion was fast and passionate. It dealt with the two areas of feedback to teachers and then how teachers feedback to children.

There were basic similarities for both of these activities:

  • Make it clear what the expectation is before hand
  • Build trust between receiver and giver
  • Always include positives even when the observation  / work was not up to standard
  • Make sure the next steps have been included

There was agreement of how useful feedback can be with the proviso that it has been received. Mention was made of the work of John Hattie (link below) on the difference between feedback and praise. It is an interesting viewpoint that is worth a read.

How the feedback is delivered was a major concern. Some contributors had experienced some very poorly given feedback that rather than helping them improve, really knocked their confidence. The place of marking was also touched on as was whether written feedback was as good as verbal.

The point about training was touched on. It would seem that training courses only cover marking. Some comments were made about how SLT get their ‘qualification’ for giving feedback!! We also touched on pupil giving teacher / peer giving peer feedback and some colleagues had used this very effectively.

Needless to say we looked at how commenting on blog posts can be very useful feedback but with it’s obvious risks. A great suggestion was made to look at how social media sites deal with ‘feedback’

Finally, mention has to be given to that old chest nut of TIME! Contributors highlighted that to really give useful, effective feedback time is essential and that is often the missing piece in the jigsaw.

As usual this summary cannot reflect the great discussion that it was. Do go & look at the archive to really get the feel of the debate and check out the links below!


@tomboulter should we offer training on how best to receive, react and respond to feedback?

@educationchat No point giving ANY feedback if kids haven’t time to respond to it & it’s not followed up. But in an already crowded timetable…

@Learningspy RT @tesICT: RT @kvnmcl: Feedback needs to be given not written #ukedchat NO! It needs to be received and acted on

@kvnmcl @ckzebra There will always be research to support whichever side of the fence we are on. Use what you think works best #ukedchat

@nohandsup ‘Praising the deed – not the doer’ #ukedchat


The serious one:

@mberry Do forgive me. It’s not so much about feedback as feedforward.

The ‘not so’ serious one!:

@oldandrewuk It’s helpful to phrase feedback as a question. For instance, say “”Are you stupid or what?”” instead of “”You’re stupid””.

One that we can identify with:

@normal_for_jp OH found bottle of wine. I have told her well done. To improve..find another one. #ukedchat feedback!



I’m Julia Skinner @theheadsoffice, founder of 100 Word Challenge. Retired headteacher having great fun creating a second career with class blogs and creative writing!

Ukedchat Archive 23 February 2012

Archive Session 86

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