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October 21, 2007

Tips and Tricks- Alternative Forms of Feedback

Hello Readers,

Do you ever find that going through the answers of an exercise with your students takes up too much of your valuable class time? Do you find that giving the students the answers to a task in the traditional manner is ineffective? Would you like a more interesting and efficient method for doing this? Well, look no further. Here are three...

...tried and tested ways to do this.

1. For extreme efficiency, write up the answers on the board as the students get to the end of the task so they can check their answers quickly themselves when they finish.

2. When creating a worksheet, include the answers at the bottom of the page. Before distributing the worksheets, fold the paper so that the answers are hidden.

3. While students are working on a task, write up the numbers or letters to the task, e.g. if there are ten questions, write up 1-10 on the board. Ask the first student/couple of students to write up the answers on the board. When the other students finish, discuss whether their answers are right/wrong. This may take up more time than simply giving the students the answers, but it is definitely a useful way to make the students think about the task. Note: make sure to bring a few whiteboard markers/pieces of chalk to class so more than one student can write on the board at a time.

Do you have any other tried and tested methods for giving alternative forms of feedback? If so, share your ideas below.

Hope that helps!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*For more ESL Tips & Tricks from ESL-Lesson-Plan, please click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at October 21, 2007 12:23 PM

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Those techniques all work. I have also found simple forms quite helpful with reading and oral presentations or mock interviews. I often make and distribute enough copies so every student can provide feedback to every other student for an exercise. How does this work?

For a mock interview or oral presentation, the form simply asks a few questions.
Time started Time ended

What worked? What was good to see?

Do you have any tips or comments on what the speaker can do better next time?

As a result, a student receives almost instant peer feedback along with a more detailed critique from me. On graded oral presentations, students watch videotapes - posted to a course website - of themselves and their peers. Students also fill out a detailed self-critique and peer-evaluation.

Short peer-evalution forms also work for short writing assignments. I emphasize that they can be very direct because I won't even look at the comments. Just give honest, detailed, polite, and practical feedback to each other.

It seems to work on the adult education, community college, and university levels.



"Education is an ornment in prosperity and a refuge in adversity."

Posted by: Eric at November 10, 2007 07:29 PM

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