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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Feedback for Learning: Implementing Formative Assessment. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Feedback is a two-way street, the feedback students give back to teachers is just as important as the feedback they get. John Hattie, when talking about the power of feedback, states that the most important feature is to create situations in lessons for the teachers to receive more feedback about their teaching. As teachers, we become attuned to our students and pick up useful information all the time in multiple formats related to how they are doing. We can look at facial expressions, lean over their shoulders and review their work, listen in to conversations, and observe students as they perform.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds In addition to these informal ways of gathering useful information from our students, we can gather evidence in structured ways such as exit tickets using feedback question prompts, or by getting students to use Red Amber Green (RAG) rating systems. All of these are powerful opportunities for us to assess students’ learning, as well as evaluating our teaching.

Student to teacher feedback

Dann (2018) contends that feedback can be seen as a two-way exchange of information between both parties, with each learning from the other and taking action as a consequence.

In the video, Andrea shared a range of ideas including:

Using exit tickets with feedback question prompts e.g.

  • Where did you struggle?
  • What aspects of … have you understood?
  • What aspects of … have you not understood?
  • What helped you learned today?
  • How could you apply the ideas about … to a different situation/context?
  • How do the ideas about … link to what you already know?
  • What was the most important bit of the lesson today?

Student RAG (red-amber-green) rating systems:

  • Placing their books on RAG cards at the end of the lesson to indicate confidence in learning.
  • Coloured RAG cups or card students share or display to give information about how they are working.
  • Students given the learning goals of a topic and asked to RAG them at the start, or partway through or the end.

As discussed earlier in Steps 1.3 and 1.4, the information obtained needs to link to the learning and be acted upon, otherwise it is again just an evaluation or judgement of performance, and less likely to benefit learning.


In the comments below think about your students.

  1. What structured approaches do you use in your teaching to gather information from students about their understanding?
  2. How does this help you reflect on the students’ learning and your teaching?
  3. What actions have you taken as a consequence?

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This video is from the free online course:

Feedback for Learning: Implementing Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre