Reimagining feedback and intervention

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When do your students receive feedback and intervention?

If they're like most students in a traditional classroom, there are probably three possible opportunities:

  • When the student submits their work for assessment on completion of the task or project.

  • When the student realises they need help and directly asks for it.

  • When the teacher recognises that the student needs help and intervenes.

Modern technology offers new opportunities for feedback and intervention. Publishing is no longer the end. Instead publishing generates conversations, and these conversations provide rich feedback for modern learners. So much so that it is changing the learning practices of modern learners. We're now witnessing modern learners not only publish their completed projects but also their learning intentions. How much better might our student's learning be if not only do they have have access to feedback about what they've done but also about what they plan to learn and how they plan to learn.

Dave Winer wrote an interesting blog post a couple of years ago about the concept of Narrate Your Work. Dave encouraged his workers to share their attention data, that is, to regularly answer the question "what are you working on right now?" with the rest of the team. To facilitate this Dave created software that worked very much like Twitter does today. As a consequence everyone could see what everyone else was working on, opening up collaboration, feedback and intervention to not only when workers asked for help but also when others decided they could add some value.

What if we encouraged our students to not only share what they've done, but also what they are doing, regardless of whether they believed they needed help? Would this enable new opportunities for feedback and intervene and ultimately lead to higher student learning outcomes?

How do the virtual learning environments that your students use lead to greater and more effective feedback and intervention? I'd love to hear some examples.

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