Monday, 3 November 2014

What are Feedback Loops?

Today I was chatting to someone on our staff about feedback loops and what good feedback looks like.

One of the questions we came up with was 'if you are focusing on giving feedback all the time, how do you manage it?'. How do you make sure you are reaching all students in your class? ~ From what I've seen, most of the videos and examples I've seen of inquiry projects have been group work projects and therefore were easier to manage the feedback. I'm wondering if this how you make it easier to manage the feedback process, through group work? What do you do when it involves students doing independent tasks? How can we make the feedback process rigorous and well managed when students are working by themselves?

My colleague was also concerned that if she is so focused on giving feedback, she feels like she is not  able to provide her students with the same level of support. My thinking to this is that the feedback and support go hand in hand and that you're providing valuable support by giving feedback. I think there is a misconception out there on what feedback actually looks like. To me, it is dialogue (written or spoken) that helps move that student forward in their learning. The feedback might be direct or indirect communication through the form of 1-1 discussions, group discussions, assessment and success criteria (rubrics and checklists etc). Feedback can not only be given by the teachers, but peers and parents can be included in the feedback loops as well.

Finally, does anyone reading this have access to examples/exemplars or what good feedback looks like? Teachers like concrete examples to help them develop new things in the classroom. It would be great to share some examples. 


  1. Example 1: Our online graduate faculty monitored discussions and saw many people did not understand a key concept. So he wrote an extra lecture to elaborate and provide more explanation and notified the class that he was sending it out based on his observation.

    Example 2: I have a "Virtual Office" discussion board for questions. I check it 5 times a week and also encourage learners to answer peer questions.

    1. Hi Alice, Thanks for commenting. It's great to hear some examples of how this happens in post secondary education. Do the students at this level respond well to being empowered to ask those questions? Do they use it well? DO they answer each others questions too? That's what I love about those online discussion forums, when the students help each other rather than just the teacher being the helper.

      Thanks again for making the effort to comment!