Many experienced educators believe that young people who are receiving only letter grades and summative assessments on their work are lacking the specific, actionable, and timely teacher observations that will help them improve their response to learning tasks. They believe that students need consistent and constant feedback. To determine whether they are using best practices to increase student engagement, teachers should ask themselves the following:
Does my teaching style facilitate or inhibit feedback? Teachers who spend a whole class period presenting concepts via lecture, then giving students a quiz, might not get as good a result as using another method. For example, teachers could let students work in group to master the concept and then present it as a project.
Am I offering objective observations of student performance? For example, teachers could explain that the purpose of a students’ incomplete math homework was to demonstrate the student’s understanding and by writing only the final answer, the teacher can’t be sure of whether they understood the strategy.
Am I encouraging student participation and ownership of the feedback process? It’s important for teachers to let the student process feedback. Teachers can ask the student if they understand the feedback they are given, and what their thoughts are on the feedback.
These are just a few of the ways that teachers can work to increase student engagement. Another potential solution is offering formative assessments, which occurs both before and during instruction. The purpose of this is to guide teachers in planning and preparing their lesson plan and to improve student learning. Educators need to ensure that students are engaged, and feel comfortable with receiving feedback, but also giving it.
At Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., we know that all public entities are not created equal. Different needs and circumstances require different answers. Our School Board programs are tailored specifically for public, parochial and nonprofit private school entities including colleges, universities and vocational training schools. For more information, please contact us today toll free at (800) 586-6502.