We need to flip the focus from the past to the future. If we can evidence that students have made progress over time – then surely we can trust that feedback along the way has been effective.
Backward-looking feedback doesn’t often get good results for three reasons:
1. It shuts down our mental dashboards.
Negative feedback can be stressful, make us defensive or lose confidence.
2. It focuses primarily on ratings, not on development. Most of feedback’s time and energy is spent on looking back and rating (or grading) performance that’s already over, rather than focusing on what can be done from now on.
3. It reinforces negative behaviours.
“When we hear about flaws that we can’t fix anymore—because they’re in a past that we can’t change—it creates a feeling of learned helplessness, the feeling that we are unable to do anything about our future. Instead of committing ourselves to improvement, we hold onto a debilitating view of what we can’t do.
Focus instead on FEEDFORWARD:
When we give feedforward, instead of rating and judging a person’s performance in the past, we focus on their development in the future.
Joe Hirsch’s Book ‘The Feedback Fix’
Listen to the podcast: