Is “Excellent” good enough?
- Publisher: Education Inquiry
assessment, feedback, feed-forward, self-regulation, professional development
Both national and international evaluation studies have criticised Norwegian teachers for not being sufficiently specific and learning-oriented in their feedback practice. The feedback is largely characterised by general comments such as “Excellent” and “Good work”, and less by feed-forwardoriented messages informing students about what to do to improve their learning. In this paper we examine teachers’ feedback practice as part of a 3-year research and development project in two Norwegian primary schools. The students involved cover ages 9 to 12. Through the study we have aimed to develop a deeper understanding of how assessment practices among teachers are developed during practice and in dialogue with theory and research evidence, with a particular emphasis on how the teachers differentiated their teaching in relation to students with different abilities. The findings suggest that the teachers provide little and vague learning promoting to low-achieving students. It appears that these students most often receive feedback that is meant to strengthen their self-efficacy, rather than informative learning-oriented, feed-forward comments. A key question seems to be how to help those students in order to empower them as self-regulated learners.Keywords: assessment, feedback, feed-forward, self-regulation, professional development(Published: 1 December 2010)Citation: Education Inquiry Vol. 1, No. 4, December 2010, pp.415–431