Teacher Education

Mastering the Art of Feedback for Preservice Teachers

A webinar featuring Dr. Amy Broemmel and Dr. Jennifer Jordan from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Amy Broemmel and Dr. Jennifer Jordan from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, explain how to give, as well as how to help preservice teachers give, effective feedback.

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Hillary Gamblin:

Hello. Thank you for joining today’s workshop on Preparing Teacher Candidates to Give Effective Feedback. My name is Hillary Gamblin, I’m GoReact employee and host of the teacher education podcast. And today, I’ll be interviewing a few of my favorite guests from the podcast, Dr. Jennifer Jordan and Dr. Amy Broemmel. Jennifer and Amy, would you like to introduce yourselves?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Sure. I’m Jennifer Jordan, and I’m here at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and I’m a Clinical Associate Professor. I teach elementary education and literacy courses.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

I’m Amy Broemmel. I am also at the University of Tennessee. I’m an associate professor, and [inaudible 00:00:39] to teach elementary and literacy courses.

Hillary Gamblin:

Thank you for joining us. We invited you because we had such a lovely conversation on our podcast last year. And we wanted to dive deeper on one of the themes that we touched on during that episode. Now, our podcast is different than our workshop, so just for those of you who are new to our workshops, let me outline how we do this. For the first 30 minutes or so I’ll discuss with Jennifer and Amy how they help student teachers improve their feedback techniques.

Hillary Gamblin:

After that interview, we’ll then do a Q&A session for about 15 minutes. If you’d like to submit a Q&A question, there’s a tab just below the video feed. And if you see a question someone else asked, and you’re like, I want that answer too, you can use the up vote feature. And then don’t forget the chat feature, it’s located on the right side of the video feed. A lot goes on in here, people will share information, their contact info, resources, and it gets pretty lively. So I don’t miss out on that.

Hillary Gamblin:

So just to give you a little context. In the past workshops, we’ve discussed techniques for giving candidates feedback. The goal of today’s workshop is to focus in on helping teacher candidates to develop their own effective feedback techniques themselves. And so we’re hoping by the end of this workshop, you’ll be able to have one good technique or example, or something that you can use with your teacher candidates to model what great feedback should look like.

Hillary Gamblin:

Now that we’ve covered the technical details and outline the goals of the workshop, let’s get started. Now, Amy and Jennifer, you’ve read and researched a lot about the art of feedback. To benefit from your expertise, can you share some articles or books or other resources that shape how you think and teach about feedback?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Sure. So we’ve pictured a few here, it’s just a representation of some things that we’ve read. And looking at them, they’re kind of on a continuum. So starting on the left hand side with the feedback, that’s very practitioner oriented. So that might be a text that you might have your teacher candidates read directly. And then as you move across the screen to the Wiggins and McTighe text, it’s more researchy based. So I’m going to talk about them actually in the opposite direction than they are on the screen.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

The McTighe in Wiggins’s as well as, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Fisher and Frey, visible learning for literacy, for math, for social studies, and they have one for science, and then also the Classroom Instruction that Works book by Marzano. These are all texts that really dive into the effects scores of giving feedback. So it’s very interesting to look at those. I pulled out a couple things out of those thinking about how if feedback is correct corrective in nature, meaning that it’s giving information on next steps, the effect score is a 0.90, which is very high.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

In contrast to test taking, for instance, in just giving a score on a test, the effect size of that is only a 0.26. Those kind of texts really get into the nuts and bolts of why feedback is so powerful. And then we move over to kind of an in the middle type of book that happens to have author’s named Broemmel and Jordan. And this has a chapter in it about feedback and how to provide that which it really kind of links the research to the practitioner piece. So we touch a little bit on research, but then we go more into how are we going to apply this in the classroom as a teacher.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And then I think this is really one of my favorite books ever. And it is so simple. Simple is not the right word. It’s so available and accessible to readers and it’s very straightforward. So if anybody is wanting to start learning more about feedback, this might be a good one to explore by Pollack. It really talks a lot about student goal setting, and how that’s engaging in the classroom.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And how, by giving feedback and having students give themselves feedback and give their peers feedback, students really start to self-regulate, and they really have an understanding of their own learning. And so therefore, they tend to progress more. So all great books out there, and I’m sure that maybe the chat is blowing up with lots of other great examples.

Hillary Gamblin:

I’m going to have to grab one of those myself, the Feedback one you just held up. I’m particularly interested in that. Now of all these resources that you’ve mentioned, they influence how you approach feedback. So I’m curious, when you begin discussing feedback with your teacher candidates, how do you define it for them? Or what do you tell them is the goal?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

[inaudible 00:06:05] jump in on that one. So I don’t know if all of you who are out here watching have the same experience that we do. But as we get in pre-service teachers who have come through years of standardized test era, and right or wrong kinds of feedback, they really don’t understand what we mean by feedback. So we have to start pretty basically just saying, it’s really information about your performance, so that you can understand better as learners. Because initially, when we start talking about feedback, they have a negative reaction to it.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

I don’t want to hurt my kids feelings. I don’t like it when I get negative feedback. And so a lot of our work is around reframing their understanding of how feedback is positive. So we really established the goal as it’s giving you feedback about your performance in order to help you improve. From there, we really like the definition that Wiggins and McTighe used in that book that Jennifer described. It’s three components, feedback is concrete, specific and useful. So not only does it identify something, but it gives you actionable information, something that the student can use.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

And so we really try to stick to these three things and have them judge feedback that they are given, that they see given in classrooms, and then ultimately, that they’re giving to their students by those three specific things. But we find that before they can do that, we have to provide a little more context even. Next slide. We really try to zoom in on classroom feedback. So stating [inaudible 00:08:14] that it has to be developmentally appropriate for the individual student, and related to the learning objective that you’re teaching is really important.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

And it seems pretty straightforward. But that is one that our students tend to struggle a little bit with. And we can talk a little bit more about that later. We also try to help them understand that it addresses both strengths and needs. If all you’re doing is telling the kids what they’ve done wrong, the response isn’t as positive. And then they have to include the action step, the step that guides students to use the feedback. And so this is kind of what we just reiterate again and again, that specific, concrete, useful, and it stimulates some action.

Hillary Gamblin:

During our podcast about a year ago, this is the one thing that I remembered and I loved it so much. You said that feedback should be three things specific, actionable, and provide a resource. And I still think that’s possibly one of my favorite, like definitions of what feedback should do. Can you discuss how you developed or settled on these three things?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Jennifer, [crosstalk 00:09:39] jump in or?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Sure, they work. I mean, and they’re written in several different places. So this isn’t we talked about the McTighe and Wiggins text, but they do show up a lot over and over again. And the research is there, like I said, with the effect size that these are things that tend to impact student achievement. And as we started looking at this and thinking about how we were going to teach our students how to give feedback, we looked at our own feedback.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

We looked at the type of feedback that us as professors were giving our pre-service teachers and thinking about, well, what makes the most difference? Smiley faces don’t really help much. What do we need to give them to get them to the place that we need them to be? And these were the things that really, to us seem to make a really strong difference in their progression.

Hillary Gamblin:

Can you share some examples of how you help your teacher candidates identify these three things and how you teach them to replicate it for themselves?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Sure. So if we look at the next slide, we start off by looking at examples of K5 student work since we do work with elementary students. And some of these happen to be from my own beautiful children. And so they may not be very good at math, but they are lovely children. So first looking at the first one is … Well, these are actually both examples of what not to do. So we start there. And we start analyzing them and thinking about, okay, what helpful information was given here? And maybe what could the teacher have provided instead?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So for the first one, obviously, a negative -2 and a 78% doesn’t really tell Henry much, about how he can become better at adding with regrouping. The other piece that is here is that he gave the answer. So instead of guiding him with giving him resources, telling him what he had done well, what he needed to work on and saying, hey, look at the number chart, or come back tomorrow during math when we have work time. I’m available. Meet with me so we can go through this again. They’re virtual now, so hey, the presentation is online. You can go back and you can rewatch the mini lesson and see if you understand that.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So this is an example of, it was probably developmentally appropriate, it was definitely related to the learning objective, but didn’t really explain his strengths or needs and didn’t give him anything to guide him for feedback. On the right hand side is an example of his … He was supposed to pretend he was interviewing the main character in The Tale of Despereaux. And he figured out the who, the what, the why, the when. He had it all set up, he wrote a paragraph. And the feedback that she gave was to check your letters, check your spelling, please write larger so I can read it better.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

The feedback was not really … It was developmentally appropriate, but it wasn’t related to the learning objective. It didn’t really say what he did well, it only mentioned what he should work on. And it didn’t really give him any resources. It didn’t say, use the word wall or use our alphabet chart, or these are some different things you can consider, or I’m going to draw lines for you next time that are bigger to show you how big I want this. So this is where we start, we start with them exploring student examples. And I believe there’s another one, Amy, if you want to go to the next slide.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

It is. I was just going to say this is where we’re really encouraging them to notice things. So that exploring stage is the noticing, and we’re giving … We’re providing the examples for them to critique in class in small groups, in individual, think-pair shares. They’re looking at these and have their hands on these materials, and they’re coming up with the critiques that then we discuss. A lot of time is spent in this exploring stage where we’re seeing non-examples, great examples and everything in between.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And some of these examples, like we said, the ones we’re showing you today are from our own experiences as parents from our own children, but we also ask them to bring in examples from their own classroom. So that could be feedback that they’ve attempted to give or that their mentor has tried to give or maybe some [inaudible 00:14:38] feedback from student to student. So coming from lots of different places, and also coming from places that the students are invested in and they know how important this is. And so they are really engaged in the noticing and wondering and thinking about how can we make this more powerful and more impactful for learning.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So here’s another example. This is from my daughter, the feedback was first a strength. I love that you gave several examples of Harriet’s accomplishments. And then the area to work on, next time remember to pay close attention to words that should or shouldn’t be capitalized, justice in Underground Railroad. So I capitalized justice, and it should be lowercase. And then she needs to capitalize Underground Railroad. I’m going to assume that if there was a rubric or something that this is related to the learning objectives. But the piece that’s missing here is that there isn’t the information about the tools to move forward.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So where is she going to find Underground Railroad injustice? Probably in the books that are around the room. Or maybe they’ve developed an anchor chart where they have this. And so that piece, isn’t there. Like Dr. Broemmel said we spend a lot of time with our students analyzing these, exploring them, and thinking about what’s really great about these examples, but then also maybe what’s missing.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Do you want us to go on to the next stage that we do with our students?

Hillary Gamblin:

Before we do that, I actually have a quick aside. So I know our participants that are watching right now have their own brilliant ideas and techniques and assignments and resources that they use when it comes to teaching third teacher candidates how to give effective feedback. So we’re actually going to encourage everybody from now until the end of the workshop to use the chat feature to write a sentence, a line, two sentences, three sentences of something that you think is helpful when you’re teaching your students how to give effective feedback.

Hillary Gamblin:

It can be a resource, it can be an assignment idea, whatever it is, put it in there. And at the end, when we send the follow-up email, we’re actually going to create a whole PDF document of everybody’s wonderful resources and ideas so that you can have that afterwards. We just think it’s really great to have a collaborative moment since we’re all here live, and to create something that is useful for everybody. I know that maybe Amy and you probably would be excited about this, too. So yes, just take the next few minutes to do that.

Hillary Gamblin:

The next question I had for you is it can be tricky to reinforce these three things in field work. You’ve mentioned before that you’ve encouraged them to bring in their own work. But how do you bridge the gap from what they’re learning in the classroom and putting it into practice? And is there a specific observation assignment for feedback? Or do you require them to snap pictures on their phone at the feedback that they’re giving to their students? Anything that you can share on how you can bridge that gap, that would be great?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Sure. So we really talk about this in three stages. So we looked at the explore stage, where they’re looking at all of these things and noticing and wondering, and then we move into the explain and engage stages. I kind of [inaudible 00:18:21] the engaged stage as practicing. Like, we’re still providing the materials for them and guiding this practice, but they’re starting to actually write feedback in response to things that we’ve provided. Jennifer, you want to talk about this in particular?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Sure. In this activity, we give them a packet of this math task where the students have to identify which of the different patterns have one half shaded. So they’re supposed to identify the figures and then explain why they selected those figures. So you can see there’s Group A, Lauren and Austin. But there’s also several more pages attached to this with different groups of students who answer differently. So there’s opportunities for different configurations of feedback. And so for this one, we give two examples of how we might give feedback.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So for Lauren and Austin, they picked the A, B, and C, and said that they were all shaded half. And the reason why they know is because on the first one, each part is the same size. On the second one, they know that it’s half because it goes from corner to corner, and on C, they know because there’s two parts shaded and two parts not shaded and they’re all the same size. So they’re correct in their thinking. But with our feedback, we’re encouraging them to keep pushing their thinking.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So the first example says, you did a great job explaining the shapes below, have half-shaded. I wonder if there are more that represent one-half. Would it help to get out your scissors and cut the parts apart to see if they fit on top of each other? So there’s one example where we’re saying, this is what you did great, there’s still some more. Here’s your strategy, why don’t you get your scissors out. In the second example we share here, I can tell you’re understanding half of your explanations. I’m going to challenge you to find all of the shapes that have half-shaded though. There’s at least five more.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So we’re giving them those parameters so they understand, okay, this is how many more I need to find. And this is a really great activity, because it shows them that there’s not one right way to give feedback. There’s different ways and they’re both addressing the standard, and they’re developmentally appropriate, but they’re just written in different ways. And so we give these examples to the students. And then we let them practice in class with the second page of the packet where they’re looking at say, Group B and C, they share with each other, they give each other feedback on their feedback.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And then we send them off and do the last two on their own over the week, and continue to look for examples of feedback in their classrooms. And then another thing that we do that I kind of touched on a little earlier was we give our students feedback in this mode. So we’re practicing this type of feedback. This is a written response to Riley up in the dotted box. And it says, you did great, you did most of your readings. But what’s missing is you didn’t make connections to the text.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So you need to do this, this and this. You need to discuss each of the assigned readings, you need to look at your APA formatting. You’ve got great points and you pulled some really good information. But next week, make sure that you’re more thorough and thoughtful. So we model these stages through our written feedback as well as going through this exercise in class.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

And then we call the last [inaudible 00:22:35]. And it’s really more apply, but we need an E word, so we went with explain. This is where they’re going out into their classrooms, and they’re practicing with their own students how to write feedback, and then they’re bringing it back and they’re sharing it in class. So if we’re thinking about more of a Gradual Release of Responsibility model, this is their independent practice, that we’re asking them to bring back and share. Jennifer’s great at talking about the details in these, I will only add one more thing about the last thing that we shared.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Those two responses to the students that were doing the fractions and the shading, weren’t randomly written by anybody. They were written by Jennifer and me. And we did it in front of the students to show them that there are multiple ways to do that. And that two different people experience with giving feedback can write it in a very different way. So we try to make ourselves a little bit vulnerable for them to then be willing to make themselves vulnerable.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Great point. So when they get into the explain stage, again, it’s them having more time to practice and apply. But then there’s also that piece where they need to reflect, they need to explain their process on giving feedback, so that they can really understand it themselves. I think the first one is so interesting, because again, it’s connected to what we do with our own feedback. So the purple writing there, I’m not going to read the whole thing, but it’s the bottom part of a writing rubric. And in it, the students had to compare and contrast two texts with two different characters, the grandfather and the grandson.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And she talks about how the student gave lots of text based evidence, but maybe could have done a little bit better addressing the differences on one side versus the other. And she says, go back to my sample essay in our Google Slides to review the example we covered in class again. But overall, your work was thoughtful and impressive. But what I really find interesting is how she then explains her process of giving feedback. Because as I read through it, I realized that this is the same process that we engage in when we’re observing our students.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So this year looks a little different. They’re videotaping their lessons and sending them to us, and we’re watching them. And then we meet, and we reflect on the areas of strength and areas to strengthen in their lessons. Usually it’ll be out in the field and we missed that. But maybe one day, we’ll get to go back out to schools. But she said, “First, I asked the students how they would like their feedback. If they want me to read it to them, or they want to read it themselves, so they have access to it.” Then she says, “I asked students what they feel they did well with on their task.”

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So she opens up the conversation, she lets them provide. It’s exactly what we do with our student teachers when we reflect. I always start out by saying, well, how did you think it went? What did you do really well. And as they’re having that conversation, usually, they then start to go into areas where they feel like they would have liked to have made changes, and they would change for next time. And if they don’t get there, then I start to prompt them a little bit. Where she does down here and says, “I asked students what area they feel they could continue to grow in. Then we discussed this and we set goals.” That’s the last stage of our conversations we have with our intern.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So I feel like they’re internalizing what we have been modeling the whole year, whether it be through written feedback or through verbal feedback. But by modeling these different stages, they know it’s working for them. They’re growing as educators. So then they’re invested, because they know it’s going to work for their students if they give that same type of feedback on their assignments.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Another example, on the right hand side is we had students who were reflecting on Instagram, so they were taking pictures of their examples of feedback. And this one student, she had her students write, I can’t write a poem, poem. And they had to brainstorm reasons why they liked writing poetry, and excuses why they couldn’t write poems. And the feedback here, it’s a little hard to read, but she wrote, you did a great job being honest and creating excuses in this poem. It really tells the reader how much you don’t want to write and write a poem and creates a picture. You did it, you wrote a poem. And she talks about similes and how she did a great job with that.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So it’s a process and when they present this to us, we then give them feedback on that. So that example that Sarah has doesn’t really have a strong connection with next steps. Here’s how you can make it better. So then our feedback would be, well, what about this? Or what about this? And so it’s very meta.

Hillary Gamblin:

We promised on our landing page that this was going to get pretty meta. Speaking of how the student did a great job but could improve, what are the most common mistakes that you see candidates making as they try to adopt this model of giving effective feedback? And what’s the most effective technique to help them overcome those stumbling blocks?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Okay. I think the first thing, and maybe this is the writing teacher in me, is the fact that they often want to correct everything. So let me give you a laundry list of all the things that you did wrong. And, by the way, nice try. And so trying to get them to focus in on the one piece related to that learning objective is really important. And so our thought process builds on their lesson writing. So as they’re writing lesson plans, it’s not until they get really on at identifying their lesson objective and their lesson assessment, that we start adding in the expectation for providing feedback in this way.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Because at the beginning, they’re just trying to get a single objective down or a focus. And so it builds. But I would say that was one of the most challenging things, is to get them to pick one focus area that they can give, then specific feedback, actionable insight and a resource for. A second one, I think we have a really good slide that shows the difference in feedback. We find that tone kind of changes, unfortunately, depending on student’s perceived abilities. And in this particular assignment was about Cinderella, they all had the same question, what do you notice and wonder about Cinderella?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Bailey on the left side has written some things and the pre-service teacher has given some really good feedback. You noticed some really important details about Cinderella and her sisters. I want you to work on putting spaces in between your words. You can use a Spaceman when you write to help you space or something like that. I can’t read that in. So it’s not exactly related to the objective, which was noticing and wondering about Cinderella. But it is at least having to … It’s consistent in terms of looking at a space and providing a resource for using that. And it seems to be given in a reasonable tone.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

And then we have this other little one over here. I see a bird. I don’t know what that word is. Something in the kitchen. And her sisters did not do it. And the tone of the feedback is completely different. You need to notice and wonder about Cinderella. What you wrote is off topic. You need to look back at the text. So there’s actionable things there, specific, even provides a resource. So all three parts are there. But that’s super harsh. And really will probably not be well received. So thinking about the tone in conjunction with focusing on that one thing, I think are my top two.

Hillary Gamblin:

Fantastic. And when we think of feedback, we think of comments written on a math test or on an essay like this. But asking the right questions is another approach to feedback. And it often requires dialogue. How do you help your students understand and practice how they can incorporate questions into their feedback.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

We have a really amazing flow chart that we have used to kind of demonstrate for our students. I’m going to let Jen explain this because she was the one who found this and has really brought it in and used it super effectively with our students.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

I’m like a flowchart kind of person. So it makes perfect sense to me. I’m not sure it works for everybody. But you start up at the top, and the teacher poses the question. And so maybe the question is, how are grandfather and grandson alike and different? And maybe the student responds, or sometimes they don’t respond. But you ask yourself, is this the appropriate answer? Are they on the right track? If yes, then you probe them to elicit more information to extend their thinking and their reasoning. And if they’re still on the right track, then good. They understand it. You can move on.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

But what’s really most powerful, I think, is the no side of this. Because I don’t know about our listeners today, but I asked a lot of questions when I was teaching and the students answers were not exactly what I was looking for. It’s probably my fault. I needed to have some strategies with questioning to see if honestly, they didn’t understand my question, or they didn’t understand the material. So if we phrase the question, what are the similarities and differences? And the student says, I don’t know or gives the wrong ones, then we start to prompt them to activate their background, focusing on cognitive and metacognitive processes.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So some questions we could ask is, well, think back to the story we read. Do you remember some of the characteristics. Or think back to the graphic organizer, the T-chart we made about grandfather and grandson? Can you think about some ways that they were similar and different? If they can, great, we move on to a new question. If they can’t, this is where the prompting keeps happening. We go into the middle here, and we start to shift attention to an information source.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So usually, we always try to start with, do you remember? When that doesn’t work, then we prompt our students to prompt their students to find resources around the room. So should you go get the text and open it up and look at the pictures and the words to help you with this question? Or do you need to go and look at the anchor chart that we have at the front of the room in which we have made a T-chart with the different similarities and differences? And then you ask the question again, and you see, did they understand it? Great. Move on to a new question.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

If not, you have to decide with the student, when is the point just to go ahead and say, okay, I need to reteach this. They don’t understand it. I’ve given them lots of resources, but they still are not coming up with what I’m hoping they would have gotten from the activity. So then it comes to a point where you just do a quick little mini lesson or you give them the answer because you don’t have time right then. And you say to yourself, okay, I’m going to write myself a little note, this is something we’ve got to address later. Because they are not understanding this.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

As a teacher, I need to go ahead and reteach it because I’ve given all of the resources in the room. And that doesn’t have to happen after two steps. In your classroom, it might be 5 steps or 10 steps, depending on how many resources you have. And also depending on the student. Some students, you know that if you keep pushing them, they’ll finally get there. And others you might be like, I pushed him too far. Let’s just get the answer and we’ll work on this later.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

All of this kind of falls under the idea of assessing and advancing questions, which we spend a lot of time on with our students. There are times when we need to ask a question to assess whether they know something or not. But we talk a lot about how feedback is embedded in advancing questions, those questions that push them to think about things in a little bit different way. And a lot of the kinds of questioning that Jen was suggesting there are those kinds of advancing questions as you’re providing resources.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

And that’s giving feedback in a slightly different way. But it’s also allowing you to gain a lot of information from students that you can use as feedback to yourself in order to continue to improve your lessons. So questioning almost becomes a different kind of feedback loop where it’s not only feedback to the students, but it’s feedback for the teacher to inform ongoing learning and instruction.

Hillary Gamblin:

Thank you for sharing that. I think that’s a particularly useful and difficult skill, asking the right questions in the feedback and to create that dialogue. So I really appreciate that flowchart that I’m going to have to take a better look at that. Right now it’s like scribbles on my screen, but I’ll take a look at it when I can actually read it. Thank you for answering my question. I’m sure Jennifer and Amy’s answers and examples have sparked ideas for those that are participating in today’s workshop.

Hillary Gamblin:

So we’re going to take the next 10, 15 minutes to do a live Q&A. Again, if you have not submitted a question and you want to, there’s the tab just below the video feed. You have a minute to do that. So go ahead and feel free to do that. My colleagues have been monitoring your questions, and selected a few that we can look at. Okay. Let’s see, I have lots of people giving me questions here. It says, Amy and Jennifer, can you provide some ways that you’ve modeled giving feedback to your students?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Sure. On all of their assignments … I should say, we’re lucky enough to work with cohorts of students. And so we actually have them over a series of three semesters, generally. So a lot of what we’ve been talking about is what goes on when they’re in their year long placements where they’re in schools. But our work with modeling this for them starts the first time we have them in class. And it’s giving them the feedback with those specific attention to what we want them to do, and telling them what we want them to do next time. And giving them a resource to go from that. So a lot of our modeling is just embedded in our teaching, if that makes sense. You want to jump in?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Yeah. I would just add to that, that it’s a huge amount of time that we spend in front of our computers or talking before and after class giving this type of feedback. It wouldn’t be so easy just to give everyone five out of five on your response. Great job. But it just doesn’t seem fair for us to not give them the feedback that we will then be expecting them to give to their students later. So that idea of just mutual respect and understanding of we want them to put in the hard work at the back end that we have to put in the hard work on the front end.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

It’s an intentionality. It brings a level of intentionality that makes a difference. It also let’s us be able to say, do you remember when we gave you that feedback last semester? Why don’t you want to reference that again, and look at that, and use that as a model?

Hillary Gamblin:

The next question is, when there are scaffolds in place, you’re writing a lesson plan, and there are many feedback possibilities, how do you manage time to give the most actionable feedback per student?

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

That’s a great question. So just like we try to explain to our students that we don’t need to have a laundry list of feedback, we try to model that as well. So thinking about where are we going to get the most bang for our buck. For example, for using lesson planning, we work with the team rubric, it’s just what we use to … For teachers to be evaluated in the state. And so we use it to get our students ready. There’s a couple indicators on that rubric that we really feel like makes a huge impact on every other piece of the lesson.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

So problem solving and thinking, if they’re not there, then you can’t motivate your students. You have nothing to give feedback on because they’re not really doing anything that challenging. You can’t pre-plan questions because you don’t have anything interesting to ask questions about because the students aren’t engaged in those things. And so we look at the characteristics of either the lesson plan or the assignment if it’s something different, and just think about what pieces are going to make the most impact throughout the whole activity. And that’s where we focus on.

Hillary Gamblin:

Doing triage.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Yes.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

I’m not going to lie, I keep notes because I never look at something and think, there’s only one thing I want to get feedback on. There’s always 2 or 3 or 10 things that I feel like I could get feedback on. But I picked one, the most important in that particular context, like Jennifer said, and then I keep my anecdotal notes about the others that I will hope show up in the future or that I can act on next.

Hillary Gamblin:

That’s fantastic. I love that idea. That’s great. Another question. They just wrote something, so I have to scroll back up. What is the difference between feedback and a reply, getting at the sense of the word here?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

I think when I reply to something, I’m sharing ideas maybe not as intentionally as I do when I give specific feedback. So if a student says, we look at this and tell me what you think? I’m going to kind of just kind of go off the cuff and tell them, well, as I’m looking at this, I think this and this, and this. But if they’re turning in something that I’m going to give them feedback on, I have to really think it through and make intentional choices. So to me, that’s the difference between a reply and feedback. But I think that’s open for debate.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And I would just add to that, that I think that we, because we tend to develop rubrics or guidelines for our activities and our lesson plans and our projects, then we have those specifics. Whereas a reply, like Dr. Broemmel was saying could be very general. They know going in what the parameters are. And so we can be very purposeful based on the different criteria of what whatever grading criteria we’ve decided on.

Hillary Gamblin:

And this is our final question, and it’s a good one. Getting students to read and reflect on feedback can sometimes be difficult. Any strategies for helping them engage in the feedback?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

Go ahead, Jennifer.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

I was going to say, I’m just going to build off of something that Amy said earlier and it’s just about being vulnerable. And so we start out by giving our examples, we give poor examples, we give okay examples, we give different examples. And we just really open ourselves up and give that model of, we’re not perfect. We’re still working on this I’ve had students where I’ve written some feedback on assignment and I’ve been really proud of myself. I’ve been like, yeah, this is a good one. I’ve gotten actions and everything.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

And they write me back and they’re like, what is this? This is a mess. And you didn’t give me good feedback, and you didn’t tell me exactly what to do. And then I look back, and I’m like, man, you’re right. Like, this was not good feedback. And so I think just having that relationship with them, and knowing that everybody’s on the same page, and everybody is working to get better. Because there’s that that term of criticism.

Dr. Jennifer Jordan:

Like, you’re criticizing me because you gave me feedback. There’s something wrong with what I did. And getting away from that mindset and showing them that, no, really it is because we want the best for you. My children might be in your classroom one day, and if it’s not my children, it’s other children who are just as important as my children, and I want you to be the best teacher you can be in that classroom. And so just respect and understanding, I think, is what undergirds most of our work.

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

I want to piggyback on something Jennifer said. She said it really starts with relationship. And it does. Because if you have a relationship with your students that is built on respect, you can inject some humor. So there have been times when I’ve simply said, “Did you read the feedback I gave? Because I’m seeing the same things. So if you want to take a look at the last bit of feedback, then let’s talk about this, or we can meet and move forward from there.”

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

So I think just like in a classroom where you can’t hang a word wall and think that just because the word wall is there, students are going to use it. Just because we give feedback doesn’t mean our students are going to read and use it unless we hold them accountable for it. And so referring them back to remember when I gave you this feedback, modeling that vulnerability, with admitting when we give crummy feedback. And really having that respect for them, instead of making them earn our respect, we just give it to begin with. It’s theirs to lose.

Hillary Gamblin:

Thank you so much for all those that asked questions and thank you for answering all of our questions. I love the Q&A section with our participants because it really makes this a dialogue and real learning happening in the moment. So thank you for that. Now before we end, I like to ask our guests to share with us three takeaways. If you could give our audience three things that you would want them to remember and adopt as they move away from this, what would it be?

Dr. Amy Broemmel:

I think, first of all, that it should be intentional. Feedback can’t just be on a whim. It has to be specific and actionable. And then we really think it’s important to offer pre-service teachers those opportunities to explore, engage with and then explain feedback. So I think those would are three as we discussed it.

Hillary Gamblin:

Well, thank you, Jennifer and Amy, for sharing your techniques, your experiences with us today. You did this voluntarily, so we appreciate you taking your personal time to share these strategies with our fellow teacher educators. And to thank those that have participated, we have actually randomly selected one participant that will win a pair of AirPods Pros. I’m so excited for this person because I love my AirPods Pros. So congratulations to Susan Buchi from Saint Leo University. We’ll be reaching out to Susan to make sure that we get these to her.

Hillary Gamblin:

We’re going to be doing these drawings live on each of our webinars. So if you are sad that you didn’t win AirPods, attend the next workshop next month, and maybe you will be the lucky winner. We know that this workshop will be particularly useful for all of our participants. So we’re going to send an email with a link to the recording, and also that resource that we asked everybody to put in the chat, all their ideas. We’re going to create that into a PDF. So watch for that email in your inbox. But that is it for today. Thank you to our participants, thanks to those working behind the scenes and of course, thank you to our guests Dr. Jordan and Dr. Broemmel. We will see you next time.

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