Recently I participated in a math project where I worked alongside teachers and college professors. During one meeting, I lamented to one of the professors about the amount of math tasks I needed to give feedback on. After listening intently, he responded: “How do you know the hours of grading you do actually matters to your students? Have you measured the impact?” Speechless, I responded, “I don’t.”
His questions have bothered me since. Generally, I write questions on students’ tests when I don’t understand their responses. Lately, I’ve been wondering if the questions I write are read by the students and understood. Generating thoughtful questions and hoping students understand their meaning takes time and energy. Yet, I have little data to determine the impact and so I question if my time is well spent.
This week, fellow Teaching Channel Laureate Sean McComb describes in the first of a three-part series how he’s revamping his feedback process so that he has a better sense of what’s working for his students. As I read Sean’s post, I started generating steps to deepen my own understanding of quality feedback. By following his series, I’m hoping that I will always have a ready response when questioned about the value of the feedback I provide.