9 March 2018

A Feedback Activity for Learners

In many ways the digital world has brought teachers under increasing pressure - are they using the most up-to-date tools? Are they selecting the "best" digital tools for their lessons? Are they sufficiently "engaged" in all the Twitter chats, ongoing PDs, MOOCs, .reading the latest articles/blog posts on SAMR, TPACK, attending webinars.....and the list goes on. 

As someone who has taught students with access to desktops, laptops and iPads in the classroom, I have to admit that my first thought has always been my learners' needs  - what will they learn with X digital tool? How will using it enhance their learning experience and what is the problem if X tool adds some fun as well (Kahoot is a well known  example which adds fun element to a lesson.). 

At the same time, I give value to learners creating their own content, whether that be in digital or analogue forms (because sometimes as teachers we have little choice in the matter when preparing students for exams, for example). 

Another regular demand on teachers is feedback, whether that be grading or giving immediate feedback in a lesson. Teachers themselves often only receive feedback at the end of a semester or the academic year - and that is if the institution shares that feedback with the teachers. 

Being able to understand how well learners are progressing is part of the DNA code of being an educator and in every context educators will know how best to proceed. Yet, because I think that the digital world is also a world where learners should participate by creating content, why not give them the opportunity to give feedback with a visual artifact?

A simple activity is for students to create their own feedback for a week or two by using Canva. Canva has a range of free visual designs which can be used. From designing infographics to book covers and cards, to name a few, there are designs which can also be used to give feedback. For example, learners can select the design of the card they like, use the given image or choose another and then write 2 or 3 short sentences on how they felt about lessons that particular week. 
For instance: 

These cards can be shared in their Edmodo group or in a Padlet. When students know that their work will be seen by others and not only the teacher, needless to say, they pay a lot more attention to the task at hand. By asking students to provide their own feedback, instead of merely ticking boxes, also invites them to think more carefully about what is important to them and to be more engaged in the task. 

Thinking about what they want to say in their weekly/bi-weekly feedback, choosing their design and working on their feedback card may take some practice - but isn't that learning? 

Tamara Qaddoumi - Flowers Will Rot (Official Music Video) from Pablo Lozano on Vimeo.

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