Teachers are responsible for providing students with knowledge in their quest to obtain an education. This means that teachers should maintain a good relationship with their students so that both of them benefit in the long-run. Teachers should come up with effective ways through which they can motivate the students to provide effective feedback, as this will improve learning outcomes. It is no wonder that there are quite a number of perceptions about what good and effective learning is all about. This is based on the fact that many students faced numerous challenges when it comes to learning (Rowe, 2011). This paper seeks to give a critical analysis of the reason why students and teachers need to value feedback assessment as part of improving learning and teaching.
Feedback refers to a term used in the description of various kinds of comments that come after a fact. Feedback includes words such as evaluation, praise, and advice when a teacher is giving feedback to a student. Therefore, feedback refers to information concerning how a student is doing in an attempt to realize their goals as well as those established by the teacher. It is vital to obtain feedback about how learning and teaching is going on in order to ensure that students are benefiting from the teaching. Formative feedback ensures that a teacher can effectively make changes to the teachings in order to meet the needs of the students. This method is beneficial because the teacher does not have to wait for a long time before the initializing changes to help the students. Based upon a meta-analysis of studies done concerning student evaluation, feedback provided early enough from the students has a correlation of around 10 per cent increase. This is particularly applicable in the end semester evaluation scores. If the feedback provided by the student is combined with consultations from an instructional developer, there is usually as 45 per cent rise in the end semester teaching evaluations of the students. There are times when students do not believe that the feedback they provided is beneficial. This is mostly because the instructor may not talk about the issue in class and the students feel ignored. Such a situation has to be avoided by letting the students know that their perspectives are highly valued.
In the many decades whereby education research has been conducted, the idea of providing sufficient feedback and teaching less has been supported. In turn, it is believed that two ideas promote greater and effective learning. For example, the presented notion can be supported by comparing the peer instruction model and the lecture-driven course. It is evident that courses, which are lecture-driven, produce learning that is less than optimal. According to Eric Mazur (2009), the person responsible with coming up with the peer-instruction model uses this approach when teaching his students. There are a total of 200 students in his introductory physics class and he often hardly lectures. He chooses to give them some problems, which they first have to think about individually, then, later on, form small discussion groups. Mazur believes that his system provides continuous and frequent feedback. This applies to both the instructor and the students concerning the understanding level of the subjects that they are discussing. Furthermore, his system produces excellent problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding of what is being taught. Therefore, according to Mazur, better results are obtained when there is ‘Less’ teaching (Mazur, 2009).
Jere Brophy, a known researcher in effective learning and student motivation, claims that “student motivation to learn is an acquired competence developed through general experience but stimulated most directly through modelling, communication of expectations and direct instruction or socialization by others” (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). This issue can thus be explained through a theoretical perspective in order to make it known: in this case, the expectancy-value theory is used. According to the theory, the degree at which students are usually motivated to engage in feedback in any academic task is based on their expectancy and determination for success. This means that they have to attach some value to specific tasks in order to have the motivation to acquire feedback from the teacher. Therefore, students will provide successful feedback if they have an appreciation and apply reasonable effort to the learning activities (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).
One of the objections that exist concerning effective student-teacher feedback is that student ratings cannot be a valid measure of knowledge about teaching effectiveness. It means that students cannot assess good teaching, therefore, feedback evaluations are just mere popularity contests (Marzano & Pickering & Pollock, 2001). On the contrary, many studies indicate that faculty and students often have similar responses when asked to give feedback about learning and teaching, particularly in terms of its relative importance. The two groups seem to agree that good teaching is indicated by the teacher’s comprehensibility, clarity, organization, and preparation. Furthermore, it is indicated by the ability of the teacher to gauge progress as well class level, and sometimes, even the teacher’s personality matters. In addition, sometimes the students may provide false feedback because they feel pressurized to respond; hence, have a negative effect on learning. As a result, the teacher will not be able to know how to deal with the students since they do not have positive feedback. It is no wonder that the authors do not support the fact that feedback can contribute to effective learning and teaching.
The other objection that has been presented is that if student evaluation’s and feedback were valid, more outcomes would be visible. It would be expected that students who gained a lot from the learning experience would claim that their teacher was effective. In an analysis that involved 41 studies, it was found out that there is a positive correlation between student achievement and student feedback. Some of the items used in the survey were the overall effectiveness of the instructor and quality of the course. In addition, there were high variances when referring to certain teaching skills, which the students found to be desirable (Birenbaum, 2007).
Students have reason to believe that feedback is quite beneficial to them in many ways. They are able to able to gain more insight into understanding course ideas and concepts, as well even having high academic results. It means that feedback is often perceived to be a direct aid that facilitates the process of learning. This is made possible through the provision of information as well as clarification concerning the lecturer’s expectations and course content. Therefore, students view feedback in different ways depending on how it affects their well-being while at school. Students need to be viewed as social beings that are always willing to learn new things. Furthermore, in order to succeed, students have to be in an environment that meets all their needs.
Birenbaum, M. (2007). Assessment and instruction preferences and their relationship with test
anxiety and learning strategies, Higher Education, 53, 6, 749-68.
Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research,
Mazur, E. (2009). Farewell, lecture? Science, 323, 50–51.
Marzano, R. & Pickering, D, & Pollock, J. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Rowe, Anna. (2011). The personal dimension in teaching: why students value feedback. International Journal of Educational Management, 25, 4, 343-360.
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