ResearchED: session 2 

Tricia Taylor on improving peer assessment (nice dovetailing with the previous season). 

About 80% of verbal feedback comes from peers and much of it is wrong (Hattie). Feedback is highly variable, but highly effective. Being able to take feedback is important for a growth mindset. It should be about the task, not the person (ie, not self). 

Tricia shares some of the Austin’s butterfly video, Berger’s case study of using peer feedback to improve a student’s work. She also shares his advice for students giving feedback and reminds us, hard on content but soft on the person. 

It’s important to create the right culture for this. Students need to be able to take feedback and be eager to learn from their mistakes. They need to have good formative feedback modelled and be given a chance to practise, eg with the teacher doing the task first and then asking for feedback from the students to improve it. At the end of this training they need to reflect on it: how they gave feedback and how they were able to take it. “I learnt to be patient and keep trying.”

Student feedback is improving. Students value having several chances and they can see the improvements. Feedback was appreciated and rarely personal, or taken personally. It really helped teachers to get better at success criteria: more specific language when setting them. 

Staff introduced prompt cards to help shape how students five feedback. “I like the way you….have you considered….?” This was less successful with older students (Y8) where it felt a little contrived, but when they used them to work with a reception class they understood the point and it worked really well. 

Next stage: apply to literacy. An example: an English teacher working through a piece of writing might pull out good examples from it to share with students, but students find it more difficult to recognise this. Hence: rubrics. Tricia shares a rubric for applause to help us to improve clapping her: advice on volume and tempo, for example. A rubric helps students to recognise what is good and give advice for improvement. 

Students focused on spag when they give feedback, and teachers are also guilty of this: it is easy and accessible. I often find that when I’m marking a long essay, the spag corrections come thick and fast at the end when I have lost sight of the content of the essay, so I try to mark once for spag and once for task. Anyway…they made the rubric more specific to try to tackle this problem. 

Tricia used gallery critique to give students opportunities to comment on several pieces of work. 

She summarises her learning on making peer assessment work. If kids know there’s an audience at the end, it motivates them. Improving work reinforces the idea that change for the better is possible. Students don’t have to act on all feedback but can choose what they want. 

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