Focusing Effective Feedback Practices on Developing Students' ‘Assessment Literacy': Designing Actionable Feedback for the Gifted and Talented in High School

Focusing Effective Feedback Practices on Developing Students' ‘Assessment Literacy': Designing Actionable Feedback for the Gifted and Talented in High School

Demi Elizabeth Ladbrook
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2901-0.ch005
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This chapter investigated effective feedback practices that develop assessment literacy of the high school gifted and talented in an inclusive environment. Gifted and talented were identified by their fluency of content and flexibility of curriculum areas, with the purpose for feedback to build student capacity for assessment literacy. A conceptual method included the aim for actionable feedback that extended the gifted and talented in their assessment literacy. Efficient feedback that developed assessment literacy included a feed-forward focus, metacognition development, and task-orientated understanding of the criteria. The study emphasised implementation strategies to build student capacity in utilising the feedback provided to its greatest effect. Ultimately, to improve assessment literacy, the use of exemplars to develop metacognition and improve criteria knowledge through strategic calibration of self-assessment were successful strategies used as part of teacher feedback.
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Feedback is critical for the learning but if the student lacks the understanding to interpret the comments of feedback then it is useless to them. Feedback that is provided effectively can increase student learning by at least 50%, which can be equivalent to over six months-worth of improvement (Wiliam, 2010). Feedback can only be effective when the student can understand the feedback. Therefore, emphasis is placed on feedback for student understanding and the feedback must be actionable otherwise its unproductive (Laurillard, 2002; Wiggins, 2012). Assessment focus is recognized as an effective context for the feedback process (Handley, O’Donovan, & Price, 2008).

Assessment is viewed as a catalyst to improve teaching and learning (Beaumont, O’Doherty & Shannon, 2011). Student learning needs to align to the assessment method and provide targeted feedback within student learning, that aligns to assessments, to be an efficient use of the teacher’s time. The aim of feedback should not just be to correct current work but to develop overall assessment literacy to improve subsequent assessment. Good teaching is considered a ‘student-centred’ approach and thus, feedback should be aimed around the student’s learning (Hemmi & Ryve, 2015). Feeding-forward aims to provide feedback to apply understanding of tasks in future assessment items (Handley, O’Donovan, & Price, 2008; Dann & O’Neill, 2019).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Assessment Literacy: Understanding how one is being assessed. Ability to interpret results and apply them for improvement in future tasks.

High School: Used in Australia for secondary schools that ranges from students aged twelve to eighteen.

Student-Centred: The method of teaching that the focus of instruction is placed on the student. Students evaluate their own learning and focuses on skills to build independence with problem solving.

Feed-Forward: A type of feedback. The aim to coach students to improve future thinking rather than a focus on reviewing past work and going beyond task-specific guidance.

Task-Orientated: An approach that focuses on task-specific learning. It aims to use specific examples from the task as the learning goal to achieve deeper understanding.

Criteria-linked: A type of feedback that is criteria related. Feedback that is specific and suggests improvement that relates directly back to the criteria used for assessment.

Self-Evaluation: The aim to develop an independent cycle of reflection and refinement in one’s own thinking.

Exemplar: An appropriate model of work that serve the purpose to identify key characteristics that the teacher aims to highlight.

Student Capacity: Often used in reference to ‘building student capacity’ as to improve student capabilities. It is a measure of a student’s abilities, skills and expertise in a curriculum area.

Metacognition: An ability to be aware and reflect on our own thought processes.

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