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April 2016 | Volume 73 | Number 7
Looking at Student Work
John Hattie, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
To make sure students will accept and use feedback, integrate these three strategic moves into your instruction.
Feedback is powerful. In fact, research suggests that feedback can be one of the most effective instructional strategies for improving student performance and closing achievement gaps (Hattie, 2012). Unfortunately, although getting teachers to provide feedback is relatively easy, getting students to receive that feedback is complicated.
In our experience, students who actually receive feedback are usually willing to use it. Why doesn't this happen more often? One problem is bias—like all of us, students seek feedback that boosts their self-image. If feedback is vague and personal, they may selectively accept only positive comments ("Great job! You're so smart!") and defensively reject negative comments ("This paragraph is confusing, with some awkward sentences"). What's worse, neither of these kinds of "feedback" is actionable; they do nothing to inform the student about what he or she should do in the future.
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