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Feedback must go both ways

Feedback has become quite topical with the release of John Hattie’s new book (Visible Learning: Feedback).  Teachers give lots of feedback, students receive very little (on average 3 seconds per day, claims John Hattie). When students do receive feedback, it has a .73 effect-size, meaning it is worth doing, in fact it is one of the better things to do to improve student outcomes.

Educators also need feedback on their impact and this can come through the results that students achieve (either through formative or summative assessments) and through the experience that students report that they are having in the classroom.

Educators can be apprehensive about getting feedback from their students, but who knows better the experience they are having?


At the highest level, students know whether the experience they are having feels right for them.  We feel things are right when we can develop our competences, have some level of control over where we go next and we are connected, especially to the educator.

Hattie claims that of the three feedback questions: Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next? It is the last that is most important to students.  Which makes sense, as this provides both the opportunity to develop competence and to be self-determining.

If a student is not connected to the educator, then the overall experience will not feel right to the student and suboptimal, even little, learning will take place (students feeling disliked has a -.13 effect-size on student learning).

It is important for educators to get this feedback so that they can act upon it.



John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.Earlier blogs can be found here.

John Corrigan