Cause Better Learning
The Secret of Effective Feedback by Dylan Wiliam
Educational Leadership, ASCD, April 1, 2016
Teachers in the United States collectively spend millions of hours writing and giving feedback to their students. But how much of this feedback causes better student learning? Dylan Wiliam clarifies the purpose of feedback - the primary method for moving learning forward and improving future performance - and the purpose of assessments - a tool for teachers to know what to teach next and how to do it based on first seeing what the student knows. Reminding us that feedback will only be meaningful if the students feel like they belong in the classroom and trust the teacher, Wiliam outlines three methods for making feedback more effective: make it useful, turn it into detective work and move toward self-assessment. Including useful examples and methods that can be readily adapted by teachers, this article is a pithy amalgamation of what many others have written about effective feedback, and it can serve as a primer for teachers wishing to improve their own future performance in the classroom.