The Secret of Effective Feedback

I ran across this article yesterday, and with our continued school focus on assessment as feedback, it caught my eye!  I am a fan of Dylan Wiliam’s work, and I encourage you to take a few minutes to read.

My favorite quote of the article is, ” The only important thing about feedback is what students do with it.” Wiliam’s key ideas include:

  •  Keep purpose in mind: “…the best feedback provides information not just about current performance, but also about how to improve future performance.”
  • Give feedback students can use: “…we need to start from where the learner is, not where we would like the learner to be.”
  • Assign tasks that illuminate students’ thinking: “We want to know how we can help them get better, and this requires that we carefully design tasks” to do so.
  • Make feedback into detective work: “Making feedback into detective work encourages students to look at the feedback more closely and to think about their original work more analytically.”
  • Build students’ capacity for self-assessment: “The purpose…is to develop the student’s own critical eye. Once a student has that, feedback from others becomes less and less necessary.”

The Secret of Effective Feedback by Dylan Wiliam (Educational Leadership, vol. 73., no. 7, April 2016)


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