This writer, administrator, teacher, coach is a huge sports fan. There was a segment that would air on Monday’s following Dallas Cowboys game on a local radio station that was called, “Film Don’t Lie”. A former scout would watch the tape and breakdown what he saw in the game on Sunday. And the fact is, the film captured everything, the good, the bad, the plays taken off, tendencies, etc.
This approach is taken in the professional film rooms, etc and the feedback is so personalized that each player gets a grade and some on each play. The point is that the personalized feedback helps those players improve, know what they need to work on, how to improve it, and what success looks like on the other side.
If we can find the time and medium to deliver this personalized feed to our students using video we will be setting them up for even more success.
Importance of Feedback
Even in our own career wherever you are in the journey, feedback is critical to your growth. I have found that often people, teachers, educators have a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses, but we all have gaps and blind spots that we just can’t see.
This would be one of the top strengths of feedback in that it gives us a chance to see some areas we need to work on before they become a hindrance. This same is true with feedback to our students.
And if delivered correctly, feedback can deliver a very important message to that person. That message is that you care about their growth and their success. And this I would say is the most important benefit to feedback. Again, given empathically and constructively, the student or person should know that your goal is their success or that your success is based on their success.
This really helps students feel as if you care and we don’t need to take much space here to discuss that if a student believes a teacher or someone cares for them, how this can make a complete difference in their success or failure.
What Personalized Feedback Looks Like
With the video spin on this article, this personalized feedback could be a quick video that you send to the student and they watch. Or it could be a zoom with the student for five or ten minutes.
Yes there are some time constraints here and this is much more feasible for students in lower grades due to the number of students. But remember the impact can be huge!!!
Personalized feedback must be…personalized. The teacher or whoever is giving the feedback must use items specific to the students. Maybe it was a test of some sort, a project, a homework assignment, etc but be specific to the area you want to highlight. Maybe it is a learning standard or a concept where the student is excelling or struggling that you want to focus on. Either way, make sure it is the students own personal work…kids will see through this if it is not.
Next, be specific on what needs to be worked on to grow for that specific target area. This could be a skill, technique, concepts, etc that the student can practice or research on their own to improve their target area. This is the second most important part in giving personalized feedback, what skill will help them grow gives them something to work on.
When giving feedback to teachers or students through my education career and you are about to tell a person what they need to work on, being specific on what needs to happen to improve often gives the person hope and plan to accomplish the goal.
Finally, have a specific target in mind that will show evidence that the student reached the goal. This could be completing a certain match concept at a certain mastery level (70%). Since we are talking about video, the student could articulate the answers to the teacher in a certain way. The student could also use video as a medium to demonstrate mastery over the skill or concept.
Benefits of Personalized Feedback
This writer can’t emphasize enough the importance of being personalized and specific with students when giving them feedback. The biggest benefit if delivered empathetically and constructively is that students will know you care about their growth and success. This alone makes success likely for the students.
Another major benefit is that students learn the process of identifying areas they need to work on, making them more self-aware not only of their strengths and their weaknesses, but also what success looks like.
And with the video/electronic world we live in, while students may still be at home, this chance to have a video to playback or that one-on-one time with a teacher who cares about their success, could change a student forever.