Keeping the main thing, the main thing – Posts about Feedback from #28daysofwriting

loopz by Rosa Menkman

I started 2015 in Perth. Well in actual fact I had trips to Brisbane and Sydney as aperitifs and then headed to Western Australia. I was helping with some professional learning days at a large independent girls school we have been working with since the beginning of 2014. Our mantra for the sessions was:

Keep the main thing, the main thing

And feedback with its long lost twin, feedforward, is pretty close to being one of the most important elements of learning and curriculum design. I will spend some time in future posts sharing how I see it all and how it aligns with a prototyping disposition. For now, here are some great blog highlights from educators sharing their thinking on feedback as part of #28daysofwriting.


Alex Gingell shares how he used an Experience Tour to help with the professional learning discussions on feedback in his school.

I wanted staff to ‘immerse’ themselves in feedback. To gain an understanding of how feedback works across the school and to give them a tool that would enable them to develop their own perspective of feedback in their practice. This tool is designed to be used over a slightly longer period of time and having started, I would now like to provide the opportunity for staff to continue their ‘tours’, moving from reflecting on feedback in books, to experiencing feedback in each other’s classrooms.

Experience Tour: Feedback by Alex Gingell

Great to see the DIY Toolkit being hacked to suit the needs of our school developments. An interesting post well worth a look.



In this post from the Four Seasons in One Kiwi blog, @StephT shares some of the discussion about feedback in terms of leading a school.

a good leader shows they are human, takes on board feedback, uses it to improve the way things are done but does not allow themselves to sink under the weight of it.  We did not think that the leader that journeys up the Nile in a heavy armour plated frigate was that of a good modern leader.  That, we felt, was a leader that ignores feedback and has armoured ears, which could, consequently turn into a disaster zone.

Day 7: Educational Piranhas #28daysofwriting by @StephT

Great to get some on the ground, fresh insight into the principal role within a school – read the rest of the post above.



This post from Dave Stacey outlined an interesting concept to explore when structuring the timing of feedback. Something I will be returning to in a future post of my own.

We need to get much better about the point at which we give our feedback and make sure students can act on it (DIRT time is an idea that’s been kicking around for a couple of years, and if you’re a teacher if you’re marking without it, you’re probably wasting a chunk of your time – try here and here to start, but there are loads of great blogs on it). We can restructure our assessments, we can make better use of cloud technology to provide feedback BEFORE the final deadline, or ensure that students get a second go at delivering that presentation.

I shouldn’t feel bad for saying ‘well done’ – #28daysofwriting day 5 by Dave Stacey



Nicola Richards shares her first steps into using the SOLO Taxonomy in helping students understand the specific parts of their journey. By the sounds of it the taxonomy helped the class also provide effective feedback to peers, which is often tricky if we don’t have a notion of what specifically to say.

So my first real “work” for my class this year was to write a paragraph with a video as a stimulus. Once they were finished we discussed the key concepts and then I asked them to peer assess the paragraphs using a simple SOLO rubric. Most found it easy to identify where their partners work was at and could also identify next steps. I can see me using this regularly for peer, self and teacher feedback. I am passionate about the use of SOLO taxonomy (thanks @arti_choke) and keep finding ways to incorporate it in my teaching and learning. This was a great example as it fulfills many of the key requirements of effective feedback too.

28 days of writing – day 5 by Nicola Roberts

Explore more of Nicola’s post on her blog nixpixmyideasonstuffeducational



I look forward to writing and learning more from the reflections of others about feedback and do my bit to keep the main thing the main thing.

Image loopz by Rosa Menkman