What is Feedback?

Educators are collaborating within Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in schools and districts across the state of Texas.  In doing so, they are putting in place practices aligned to the Vision.  And, as a result of this “better together” mentality, students are reaping the benefits as their teachers focus on a shared commitment to learning for all.

In order for teachers to grow individually as well as a member of a team, high quality feedback directs them where to begin, details of their next steps, and what they are aiming toward.  Exactly what feedback is and what it looks like have been described in many different ways by educational researchers and authors.

Grant Wiggins provided Seven Keys to Effective Feedback:

  • Goal-Referenced;
  • Tangible and Transparent;
  • Actionable;
  • User-Friendly;
  • Timely;
  • Ongoing; and
  • Consistent.

John Hattie and Greg Yates offer Effective Feedback in the Classroom:

  • Praise is an unhelpful form of feedback;
  • Include the goal, progress being made toward that goal, and the next step;
  • Welcome errors; and
  • Vary levels of feedback in relation to levels of mastery (novice=immediate, intermediate=alternative strategies, advanced=self-regulated learning).

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen share an alternative perspective with their book Thanks for the Feedback:

  • Receiving feedback can be taught;
  • Curiosity and grace can magnify the impact of receiving feedback; and
  • Feedback is both challenging to receive and important to use.

In the end, it should be noted that feedback is any content we receive about ourselves, our work, and our actions.  Feedback is personal and can positively improve us, and our impact on teaching and learning.

Feedback is any content we receive about ourselves, our work, and our actions.

Are you prepared to receive feedback as a learner and use it to improve your work?

Do you reflect on your methods of providing feedback to others so they may improve their work?


In the coming weeks, I will share more tools to support the work of teachers as members of professional learning communities and the potential outcome: high levels of learning for all students.

More information about supporting professional learning communities can be found here:

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