According to Dylan Wiliam in The Secret of Effective Feedback, “The apparently simple process of looking at student work and then giving useful feedback turns out to be much more difficult than most people imagine. We could make the whole process considerably more effective by understanding one central idea: The only important thing about feedback is what students do with it.”
What does this quote mean to you and how might it impact your own World Languages instruction and feedback process?
Co-constructed feedback is a collaborative conversation of student performance based on a scaled learning target, performance toward proficiency success criteria, student self-assessment, and teacher feedback. My colleagues and I have spent many hours of hard work understanding and perfecting this process. We utilize it for our Interpersonal Speaking Assessment aligned to each theme. While giving written feedback is equally important, we like to take the time here to stop, pull students away from their groups, and have a one-on-one conversation about their speaking abilities.
The goal of co-constructed feedback is to give students simple information they can understand and use to improve their skills. In this blog, I will take you step by step through a typical interpersonal speaking performance assessment in order to make it easy for you to implement these ideas in your own classroom.
1. Ready, Set, Perform!
Students should clear their desks of all materials, except their iPad (or other recording device) and a writing utensil. The teacher passes out a rubric and/or feedback sheet to each student and gives them a moment to familiarize themselves with the success criteria once again (because you have previously spent time discussing the rubric as a whole class). Students prepare their device to record using your designated recording application and sit close to their partner with both devices between them. When everyone is ready, display the discussion prompt. The teacher sets the timer for a determined period, and pairs converse until the time ends.
It is crucial that students take the time to listen to themselves, self-assess, reflect, and classify themselves with the rubric. Our rubric provides space for them to identify specific evidence from their conversation to support their classification. Here are a few examples:
- How did you satisfy all parts of the prompt?
- If you did not, what was missing?
- How did you create with language?
- How did you participate in the conversation?
- What questions did you ask?
- What strategies did you apply when you weren’t understood or when you had difficulty understanding your partner?
Students will now put on their headphones, listen, and transcribe their conversation on the feedback sheet you handed out. They are to write anything that came out of their mouths during the conversation including “ums”, “ehs”, English words, etc. We also have an area on the feedback sheet for them to correct errors, elaborate, create additional questions, or provide ways to make their performance stronger.