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March 13, 2014

Project Based Learning (4): Feedback

Feedback with kids to kids can be a very tricky affair it puts a child in an apparent position of power and not one that most kids can handle. However, since I had made 6 judges it was time to give feedback.

I had done a series of workshops with Monica Sharma (stewardship for a new emergence) and felt that there were many aspects of my teaching and class that originated from it. It was time to put one more to test - giving feedback.

Each feedback needed to start with 
1) I learnt from your presentation
2) What was missing from the presentation
3) Go through the quality criteria list and state
- increase
- decrease
- retain
for each of the 7 items on the list.

The first feedback came from a cocky kid:
"I learnt from your presentation not to make mistakes."
I asked him to explicitly use I for what he should do, it became
"I learn from your presentation that I should not make mistakes", his hesitation was obvious, but one look at me and he knew that both he and I knew his work. The sneer turned to seriousness.
The remainder of the feedback was efficient and to the point. It also made feedback specific and multi-dimensional instead of a +1/-1.

The children were quick to note that 'retain' was 'good'. I reminded them that all mattered is if they knew how to improve their presentations, but I don't think this point landed :).

I added - "May I give you feedback?" as a first step as there can be relationships beyond my knowledge that made it impossible for some kids to take feedback from others (with a limit of 2 no).

Few interesting notes:
1) Judges who had not paid attention to the presentation were less keen on trying to wing it.
2) The judges found what I learnt from your presentation tough and were thrilled when they didn't have to give feedback. Groups enjoyed saying 'yes' to feedback.

3) It made the feedback efficient without having to go into every mistake. One judge had written 2-pages of errors she had found with one group which she didn't get to use.
4) Judges were able to give feedback to their own team which was a very big step for children to be able to do.

Thanks Monica!

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