I am still struggling with how to provide feedback that moves learning forward for receptive skills. Especially in Stage one, (when questions are limited to level 1 and 2 questions), how does an instructor provide meaningful feedback without being able to pinpoint what is challenging for the learner? I can see if a particular learner is struggling with reading or listening comprehension, but I have no idea why. I try to teach strategies for improving these skills, but they are very general.
This is difficult at this level because we may not know why the learner made the error. In general, we need to point them towards a specific strategy that could help them next time. Perhaps reminding them to cross off words that they have already used in a cloze activity, or rereading the sentence aloud to ensure that it makes sense. Then on the next assessment, we can remind them of the strategy that you recommended and see if they improve. Unfortunately, at this level, they may not be able to grasp the strategy that you are teaching. In this case, you may have to do activities which explicitly focus on the strategy that you want them to use. – R. O’Shea
When I think of feedback on receptive tasks/activities I tend to think in terms of a group (large or small) response rather than needing to write a comment on each learner’s paper. . . It can be difficult to pinpoint what is causing the error because we can’t see what learners are thinking so I think in terms of process/strategies. I ask learners to work in small groups to:
try to identify what kind of question it is and where they found the answer in the “text” (in one spot or collating info from several places) or from their head. This relates to the 3 levels of comprehension in Topic 9 in the PBLA Foundations course. I find that learners often misread the question or take an applied question and make it a literal question. Maybe at the lower level they find they don’t know their wh- question words.
identify “how” they got the answer. I am not interested in them correcting the answer but focusing on the process of identifying the answer. I find that this discussion really helps learners help each other. A variation for CLB 1 and 2 could be for you to do “think a-louds,’ (i.e. you talk through the process you use to find the answer.) Maybe, as well, as a class you could choose 1 or 2 questions and have learners identify the level of question and where they found the answer in the “text” and then compare their answer with a partner. For lower levels I use icons for the 3 levels of questions. Sometimes in reading activities I have them identify what level of question is being asked because it should help them sort where to find the answer. – S. Schmuck