Peer-to-peer interaction, bump-it-up walls and numbered flags are just some of the creative ways teachers are applying effective feedback in Australian classrooms to improve student-learning outcomes.
Now the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and Evidence for Learning have partnered to produce new resources designed to support a whole-school approach to enhancing their feedback practices with students.
The new evidence-based materials are free to access from the AITSL website. They include a ‘Spotlight’ research summary, video and written case studies profiling schools already embracing effective feedback practice, and implementation and evaluation tools.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the new feedback resources brought an important focus to the techniques and strategies being used to support students in class.
'It’s widely acknowledged that the most important in-classroom factor that can help student performance is our teachers, and we want to ensure teachers have the right resources at their fingertips,' Minister Birmingham says.
'I’m pleased to see AITSL has brought together easy-to-use materials on effective feedback and the leading research on the topic, especially as we know high-quality feedback can improve student learning by up to eight months. It’s materials like these that help our teachers cut through the hundreds of different opinions and pages of research sent their way – AITSL gives them an authoritative source of information.'
The materials have been developed by drawing upon global evidence and research-based approaches. They will help school leaders and teachers take action to enhance feedback practices in their setting, which in turn will boost learning outcomes for students.
AITSL Chair Professor John Hattie, a leading academic on feedback, said:
'While there is a wealth of evidence about the positive impact of providing effective feedback, there is very little easy-to-access information for educators on how best to implement it.'
'By equipping teachers and school leaders with a suite of assets to readily apply best-practice feedback across a school, we can support them to get the most out of the approach and ensure it has the maximum impact on learning,' he added.
Director of Evidence for Learning Matthew Deeble comments:
'The new resources draw on approaches from a number of Australian schools that are focusing on feedback to boost teaching and learning. These include using creative visual tools for students to signal their level of understanding to teachers and peer-to-peer feedback.
'Put simply, effective feedback is a low-cost, high-impact approach that can produce dramatic gains in learning outcomes. These assets will support teachers to make it work for their students.
'Materials like these support the goal of giving practical support to schools to implement effective approaches. It’s helping to make our public investment in education more productive,' adds Mr Deeble.
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides national leadership for the Australian, State and Territory Governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership. AITSL is funded by the Australian Government.
Evidence for Learning (E4L) helps educators increase learning by improving the evidence of what works and why. The enterprise is an independent, non-profit, national and cross-sectoral evidence intermediary, focusing on building, sharing and encouraging the use of evidence. Evidence for Learning is incubated by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) with the support of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Education Endowment Foundation (UK) as founding partners.
Feedback resources are one of several tools AITSL has developed to directly support the implementation of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (specifically Standard 3 – Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning, and Standard 5 – Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning).