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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.

Highlighting opportunities to learn

Hattie and Clarke (2019) discuss that a key component of effective feedback is developing a ‘mistake friendly’ classroom. Such classrooms will be safe learning spaces where trust between the students and the teacher has been built up over time. All will feel safe to air ideas, even if they sometimes contain mistakes, errors or incomplete bits. This revealing of thinking will be seen by all as part of the learning experience, and provide opportunities to deepen understanding.

Much of a teacher’s time will be spent considering how students are working and whether what they are seeing is evidence of slips or misconceptions.

Slips are errors that occur as a result of inattention and are easier to deal with. Misconceptions, however, can be linked to alternative ideas or understanding and are more challenging to handle.

When students make errors, these should be highlighted in a positive way, used as opportunities to relearn, shared as learning opportunities for others and seen as the road to mastery. It is at times like these that feedback can be used to maximising learning opportunities for the students.

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This article is from the free online course:

Feedback for Learning: Implementing Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre