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Feedback is a crucial aspect of teaching, yet many educators struggle to provide it effectively and efficiently. According to John Hattie’s Visible Learning, students who receive feedback outperform those who don’t by 80 percent. Despite this, only 30 percent of teachers report feeling confident in their ability to provide effective feedback. If you find yourself in the majority, feeling overwhelmed by the feedback process, don’t worry—you’re not alone. In this podcast episode, we’ll explore strategies specifically tailored to secondary career and technical education teachers to streamline feedback, saving you time while still delivering impactful assessments.

Tip 1: Selective Grading

One of the most effective ways to streamline feedback is to resist the urge to grade everything. By prioritizing certain assignments or elements for assessment, you can significantly reduce the time spent grading while ensuring that the feedback you provide is valuable to both you and your students. Remember, quality over quantity is key—avoid busy work and focus on assessments that truly contribute to student learning.

Tip 2: Utilize Rubrics

Rubrics are invaluable tools for providing clear and consistent feedback. Instead of evaluating every aspect of an assignment, create rubrics that focus on specific criteria or skills. This targeted approach not only saves time but also ensures that your feedback is aligned with your learning objectives. Consider using sub-rubrics to zoom in on particular areas of assessment, allowing for more efficient grading without sacrificing quality.

Tip 3: In-Class Grading

Grading assignments during class time can be a game-changer in terms of efficiency. By providing immediate feedback to students as they work, you can address common errors in real-time and guide them towards mastery. Whether it’s checking off completed tasks or offering suggestions for improvement, in-class grading allows for timely assessments without the need for extensive after-hours work.

Tip 4: Student Self-Assessment

Empowering students to assess their own work not only fosters independence but also reduces your grading workload. Consider implementing self-assessment tools such as single-point rubrics, where students evaluate their performance against clearly defined criteria. By encouraging students to identify and correct their own mistakes, you can focus your feedback on areas where they truly need guidance, making the grading process more efficient for everyone involved.

Conclusion

In summary, mastering feedback doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor. By implementing strategies such as selective grading, utilizing rubrics, conducting in-class assessments, and promoting student self-assessment, you can streamline the feedback process while still providing valuable insights to your students. Remember, the goal is to achieve just-in-time teaching—addressing errors and misconceptions before they become ingrained habits. With these strategies in your toolkit, you’ll be well-equipped to deliver timely and effective feedback without sacrificing precious time outside the classroom.

John Hattie’s Visible Learning states that students who receive feedback outperform those who don’t by 80 percent. Another statistics that I found from the National Center for Teaching Quality says that only 30 percent of teachers report feeling confident in their ability to derive effective feedback.

And y’all know, I’m raising my hand right there. I was not one of the 30. I was part of the 70 percent who did not feel confident in their ability to provide effective feedback. Today we are going to really dive into different strategies to not only provide effective feedback, but how can we make this timely without spending hours and hours and hours after school once students turn in an assignment?

In last week’s episode, which was episode 193, we went over formative, what is formative assessments? Some tools that you can use, but then today we’re going to be talking a little bit more about the strategies and the things that you can do to save time.

While doing either formative assessments or summative assessments, pretty much any sort of like feedback you’re giving students, how to streamline it and almost automate it so that you are not having to spend hours upon hours upon hours after school hours giving students feedback that you’re. Not really sure if students are really paying attention to.

In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about streamlining the feedback process because there are a lot of different ways that you can save time that you may or may not be doing already. I know when I first started teaching, I had this thought and feeling that Every single thing that was turned in must receive a grade in the gradebook.

This is going to be your very first tip on how to streamline your feedback, and it is to not grade everything. If you are being able to save time because you’re only grading some things, it’s going to vastly increase the amount of time that you have and streamline it. Now when you are thinking about grading, make sure all of the effort that you are going into grading or giving a grade or giving feedback is going to be valuable for your students.

Your students hate busy work. You hate busy work. Don’t make giving feedback busy work so that you can check a box saying I gave feedback. It must be valuable to you and your students. Now one of the ways that I like to do that, so this will be our second tip, is to use rubrics. And there are various different ways to use rubrics.

First tip that goes like sub rubric is you don’t have to grade everything. on every single assignment or project. You can create a rubric to just look for one particular thing. Look for one thing. It will make your life so much easier than spending a ton of time looking at everything. For example, if I was to Give an assignment of creating a floor plan instead of looking at everything and whether or not the dimensions are correct and whether or not the walls are the right sizes and everything that goes into it.

Maybe what I’m just focusing on is this floor plan meeting ADA compliance? Are the hallways the right sizes? That is what I would focus on. Instead of looking at everything, it will vastly Increase the amount of time, or I guess lessen the amount of time that I spend, but increase the amount of like valuable feedback I get if I can just zoom in on one particular thing, making some assumptions that you’ve already done this with other things or other Standards that this assignment or project might be building on.

If all along the way we’re trying to get them to proficiency, if we’ve already figured out that they’ve mastered that, then you can just focus on something else. Now if you’re doing standards based grading and it’s something where they’re being able to prove and Master the proficiency along the way, then maybe you come up with a way for students to let you know when you look at this assignment, can you please look at this, this, this, and this?

I’m trying to achieve mastery or proficiency in these areas. That is another suggestion is getting some feedback from your students. What would you like me to look for? And then they’re more likely then to then receive that feedback from you and then apply that feedback to make some changes and to demonstrate even more mastery.

My next tip was probably the most

surprising time saving thing that I learned as being a teacher and that is grading things during class. If I can have students come up and show me. This is what I’m doing. And I could instantly give them feedback. Yes, you’re going the right way, or no, you’re not, or you need to redo that.

That was invaluable. Instead of having students turn in a whole bunch of things, and then I was finding the same errors over and over and over again, things that I could have corrected in class, being actively engaged as I was walking around, and giving students feedback. That feedback, and it could even be that you’re giving them scores during class, has saved an immense amount of time.

There are a couple of different ways to do that. If you’re doing things with like paper pencil, then I liked to have students set things on their desk and then I would just literally go and walk around and give them points or feedback or whatever I needed to for those assignments. They didn’t even have to turn them in.

I didn’t have to turn them back to them. Everything is right there. The other thing is having students, if they’re doing something digitally, having it on their computers, and I had let them know, hey, I want to check off this for everyone during the class period. And you’d start with students who maybe volunteered because they’re at that point, and then they can go beyond.

You can now give them further instructions, or give them instructions on what to do next, but then make sure that you are making the rounds. Jared does something with time cards, and so his students will pass off a weld. And they’ll bring it to him, and he will only sign their time card if it is passed off.

And then once a week, he goes and enters those scores in. That has saved him a ton of time because he can give them that instant feedback. Yes, this is good. No, this isn’t. And then he can also have those conversations with the students so that they can Do some reflecting and self assessing on whether or not their weld meets the proficiency for that particular process.

The last tip that I’m going to share in this episode that has to do with saving time is allowing your students to give themselves feedback first. This could be with peer evaluations or peer assessments. Peer feedback. I didn’t always have great success with peer feedback because it was kind of like the blind leading the blind.

But what I had the most success with was students doing their own self evaluation. What I liked to use was what is called a single point rubric. And you can Google it, but what it does is you’ve got three different columns, but the middle column is what the standard is. What does proficient look like?

And then on the left side, you’re looking at ways that they have not met proficiency, and on the right side, ways that they have exceeded it. proficiency. Now, this is something that students do on their own. They can see what does the meeting expectations look like in the center. And then they can reflect both ways.

They can know, okay, I’m not really meeting it because of this, or I’m exceeding it because of this. Now there’s a couple of great things that I love about it. First off, while they are doing their self assessment, they can make changes, and they can make it so that they are at the proficiency. They really don’t have to have anything in the left hand column.

The other thing is that there is no ceiling on the right hand column. There’s no, , this is what it looks like to exceed, because every student could exceed it in a different way. But they can still state that evidence. Then You can have them submit that with their assignment and then really what you’re doing is instead of you going through all those, you’re just kind of glazing over it and just validating what they said was true or what it wasn’t.

And you can discuss that with them. You can, you could kind of ask them like, Oh, I didn’t quite see this here. Can you show me where? And it’s once again, it’s a way to save you time because now you’re not having to spend all of the time going through that. assessment or that assignment, they have done most of the work before it even gets to you.

And I will tell you this,   📍 📍 it is so much faster and easier to give grades and points and scores or whatever you’re doing to assignments that are already done correctly. It’s when they’re making errors that is what’s taking you the most time. Really nipping those errors in the bud, that is what’s going to save you the most amount of time.

And then that feedback is just so valuable because They get that information right then and there, and so they stop making those same mistakes over and over and over again.  As a recap, today we talked specifically about strategies. We’re talking strategies to save you time and still allow you to give effective feedback.

We went over some shortcuts that you can use as far as grading during class, having students self assess, and giving them immediate feedback before they ever turn anything in. We also talked about using rubrics, so you could create your own rubrics, but then also using the single point rubric to allow students that self assessment piece, and to really emphasize The idea of getting those errors, those misconceptions, those things fixed and corrected prior to students turning things in.

That way, all of your grading and your assessment and your feedback is very minimal because you are doing that just in time teaching.

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