Feedback for Continuous Improvement of Instruction

In The Power of Feedback (1992), John Hattie concluded that the most powerful single modification that enhances learning and achievement is feedback – but Hattie also cautioned that feedback must be of the right type, timed correctly and properly framed, to be effective. Let’s look at the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model and see how the model is designed for administrators to provide teachers with specific, valuable feedback at many different points.

With each formal observation, during Domain 2 Planning and Preparing, teacher and administrator talk about the instruction to be provided in the observed lesson. That discussion might include:

• How the lesson scaffolds within the unit and the lesson
• How the teacher will use technology and traditional resources
• What the teacher will do for English language learners, special education students, and students who lack support for schooling

Summative feedback is provided to teachers in Domain 3, Reflecting on Teaching. After the lesson is completed, in Domain 3, teacher and administrator discuss how the planned lesson went and how instruction might be improved. Together, teacher and administrator develop a professional growth plan to give the teacher a specific area of focus and the structure to increase his or her expertise.

Feedback through Learning Goals
Secondly, learning goals provide teachers with feedback at the unit level. Teachers base their unit planning on the state standard or a cluster of related standards, and plan learning goals for each of the big ideas of each unit. As they track student progress for each learning goal, teachers can discuss how students are doing with teacher mentors and observers. As teachers track through the learning goals, they can ask themselves:

• Are students understanding the information, and are they able to progress through Lesson Segment 2, Addressing Content, and each of the three design questions?
• Are students able to use the critical thinking skills that accompany each of the design questions?
• Are the chunks of content the right size? (If too large, students will get lost. If too small, students will be bored).

By tracking student progress with each learning goal, teacher and student both receive unit-level feedback to help them improve.

Monitoring for Feedback
The third mechanism in the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model for feedback is the monitoring addressed in the scale for each strategy. At the developing level for each strategy, the teacher monitors less than a majority of the students for the desired effect. At the applying level, a majority of students, and at the innovative level,allstudents are monitored and reach the desired effect. Through their monitoring, teachers receive feedback on how the strategy is working. They can make the necessary adjustments to get all students to the desired effect.

Feedback through Deliberate Practice
Finally, by using Deliberate Practice, teachers collaborate with administrators to select specific strategies to practice intensively. The administrator observes teachers using selected strategies and provides specific, actionable feedback for improvement.

The Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model has embedded mechanisms for feedback – in fact, feedback and improvement are one of the model’s primary purposes. We’re Building Expertise! The model provides a common language of instruction so that teacher and administrator can be on the same page, working collaboratively toward the mutual goal of steady instructional improvement. The scale for each strategy allows for transparency and mutual understanding the teacher’s current level of expertise, and what he or she needs to do to improve and move up the scale!

Will you be joining us for the Marzano Conference 2013 in Orlando this summer? Register now for priority sessions.

Leave a Reply