One Sunflower

quality of feedback

on February 17, 2011

What is it?  “Feedback works best when it is focused on the process of learning, rather than simply focusing on getting the right answer. High quality feedback provides students with specific information about their work and helps them reach a deeper understanding of concepts than they could get on their own.”

I’ve been video taping myself off and on for a month now.  I used the school camera for the first two and, while I look nice and skinny on the tape, the quality isn’t that great.  Then I switched to a “flip” camera which the school received as part of a grant.  There has been a learning curve in using it but by taping at least twice a week  I’m getting better at capturing what I want.

Today was “feedback” day.  I chose two qualities of teaching that I wanted to explore, concept development and quality feedback, and two 10 minute videos to use as a tool in the process and made an appointment with my principal to view them with me.  We reviewed the reasons for my request and some materials I printed out that summarized these qualities and then huddled in front of his computer and watched.

My first video was of a teacher-model writing exercise and we watched through the lens of “concept development.”  We examined “quality of feedback” while watching me confer with one of my students in her journal.

What have I learned through this process?

  1. Any time I had the camera on I was more conscious about my teaching.  I need to teach as though the camera was on all the time!
  2. I didn’t need video to discern whether I was doing a good job.  I knew when I wasn’t performing well and decided to delete those videos.  I don’t think watching bad teaching is going to make me better.
  3. Watching what I think was a good lesson, naming what was good and looking for how to make it better was helpful.
  4. Reviewing the videos with someone else added an extra layer of feedback that I think is necessary – added perspective, questions I hadn’t thought of, complements which made me feel great.

Bottom line – I have some ideas to try tomorrow that are new.  And that’s what I wanted: “helps student obtain a deeper understanding of concepts and provides motivation for students to stay engaged in the learning process.”

notes are from information about the CLASS observation tool

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