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Analysing feedback interactions

We have provided some examples feedback below, which we would like you to rank from the one you think is the most effective, to the least.

Students are learning to add fractions in maths, and a group of students is having difficulties. The teacher has noticed that the group is not identifying that the denominators need to be the same, and when they are trying to change them they forget to do the same to the numerator, and this is causing them to go wrong.

Feedback statement A:

Teacher: These answers are incorrect. You have not made the denominator values the same before you have added the fractions. You need to check you do that before you add them together. Have a go at doing that now.

Students: Ok.

Feedback statement B:

Teacher: Look at our rules for how you add fractions, what have you forgotten in this example?

Student A: Oh we have added the denominators when they are different.

Teacher: What do you need to do then?

Student B: We need to change them so that they are the same.

Teacher: How are you going to do that then?

Student A: We could times the two by three and it will make a denominator of 6, like the other fraction.

Teacher: Ok, that will work for this example, what if you were adding a quarter and a fifth? Can you work out a method that will work for any example? Discuss it together and write your ideas down for me and I will come back and check it with you.

Students A and B: Ok.

Feedback statement C:

Teacher: Good try keep going, these ones are wrong have a go at them again.

Students: OK

Feedback statement D:

Teacher: Can you describe to me why this answer is wrong?

Student A: Oh we have added the denominators when they are different.

Teacher: Yes that is right, can you do it again correctly now, making both of the denominators 6.

Students: Ok


Rank (1-4) these four feedback interactions (A-D) of a teacher and their students.

Put the interaction you think is the most effective first (1), to the one you think is the least effective in helping learners last (4).

Share your order into the comments below and explain the reasons behind your sequence.

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This article is from the free online course:

Feedback for Learning: Implementing Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre