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Ways to use feedback: gifts, ping-pongs and loops

Askew and Lodge (2000) argue that the dialogue that occurs to support learning as part of feedback can be broadened out to include not only information provided by a teacher, but also the involvement of students in constructing their own information. As such, they propose three analogies where feedback is seen as: a gift; ping-pong; loops.

These are best shown in this table presenting each approach [PDF] with the role of the teacher, goals of teaching and feedback discourse. The text is also available below.


A Gift

Role of Teacher and Goals of Teaching:

  • Expert.
  • To impart new knowledge, concepts and skills.
  • Students as passive recipients.

Feedback Discourse:

  • Traditional discourse in which ‘expert’ gives information to others to help them improve.
  • Primary goal to evaluate.
  • Feedback is a gift.

Ping-pong

Role of Teacher and Goals of Teaching:

  • Expert
  • To facilitate discovery of new knowledge, concepts, skills.
  • To help make connections, discover meaning and gain new insights.
  • Students participate, teacher still in control.

Feedback Discourse:

  • Expanded discourse in which ‘expert’ enables other to gain new understandings, make sense of experiences and make connections by the use of open questions and shared insight.
  • Primary goal to describe and discuss.
  • Feedback is a two-way process – ping-pong.

Loops

Role of Teacher and Goals of Teaching:

  • More equal power dynamic
  • Teacher is viewed and views himself or herself as a learner.
  • To facilitate discovery of new knowledge, concepts and skills.
  • To help make connections, discover meaning and gain new insights.
  • To practise self-reflection and facilitate a reflexive process in others about learning through collaborative dialogue.

Feedback Discourse:

  • Expanded discourse involving a reciprocal process of talking about learning.
  • Primary goal to illuminate learning for all.
  • Feedback is a dialogue, formed by loops connecting the participants.

Adapted from: Askew & Lodge (2000).

Therefore, in addition to feedback being related to the learning of the individual, a further way of improving the usefulness of it for the student is to include them in selecting and negotiating goals relevant to them.

Suggest

Suggest ONE challenge and ONE benefit in providing feedback as ‘loops’?

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This article is from the free online course:

Feedback for Learning: Implementing Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre