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Challenging Learning Through Feedback

Challenging Learning Through Feedback
How to Get the Type, Tone and Quality of Feedback Right Every Time

Foreword by Larry Ainsworth

January 2017 | 184 pages | Corwin

Using feedback to enhance learning 

Feedback has the potential to dramatically improve student learning – if done correctly. In fact, providing high quality feedback is one of the most critical roles of a teacher. But if feedback is not done correctly it can have a minimal – or even negative effect – on learning. Challenging Learning Through Feedback provides educators with the tools they need to establish clear learning intentions and success criteria in order to craft high quality feedback and avoid common feedback mistakes. Readers will learn

  • When feedback is (and isn’t) working
  • How to design feedback so that it answers three essential questions
  • Strategies for crafting clear Learning Intentions and Success Criteria
  • How to teach students to give high quality feedback to themselves and others

Written by educational innovators James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham, this book is full of specific examples for educators who want to understand the qualities of excellent feedback and how to craft it.  

"Feedback – a noun or a verb? A separate practice or an integral part of the learning process? Something we do ‘to students’ or ‘with students’? The Nottinghams sort it all out for us – the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of the process and the practice of feedback.”
Barb Pitchford, Co-author
Leading Impact Teams: Building a Culture of Efficacy (2016)

"Finally a practical book on feedback for teachers! It is written with the teacher in mind, lesson plan in hand, and relevant to all in education. The perfect school-wide study book!"
Lisa Cebelak, Education Consultant
Grand Rapids, MI
List of Figures
The Challenging Learning Story
Foreword by Larry Ainsworth
About the Authors
The Language of Learning
Chapter 1: Setting the Scene
1.0 Why Read Yet Another Book About Feedback?

1.1 What Is Feedback?

1.2 Assessment: To Sit Beside

1.3 Four Levels of Feedback

1.4 Matching Feedback to Levels of Understanding (Using the SOLO Taxonomy)

1.5 Praise vs. Feedback

1.6 Does Grading Count as Feedback?

1.7 Other Types of Feedback

1.8 Review

1.9 Next Steps

Chapter 2: Current Reality
2.0 What Is Your Feedback Like Now?

2.1 Characteristics of Excellent Feedback

2.2 Corrective, Component and Comprehensive Feedback

2.3 Extending Feedback

2.4 Review

2.5 Next Steps

Chapter 3: Creating a Culture for Feedback
3.0 Feedback Utopia

3.1 Ten Ways to Build Toward Feedback Utopia

3.2 Review

3.3 Next Steps

Chapter 4: Goals Before Feedback
4.0 Feedback Should Refer to Learning Goals

4.1 Long-Term and Short-Term Goals

4.2 Learning Intentions (LI) and Success Criteria (SC)

4.3 How to Design Effective LI and SC

4.4 Example LI and SC to Use With Five- to Eleven-Year-Olds

4.5 Example LI and SC to Use With Eleven- to Eighteen-Year-Olds

4.6 Learning Goals for Working Together

4.7 Review

4.8 Next Steps

Chapter 5: Taxonomies to Support Goal Setting
5.0 Learning How to Learn

5.1 Using Taxonomies Wisely

5.2 Bloom’s Taxonomy (and Beyond)

5.3 The EDUCERE Taxonomy of Thinking Skills

5.4 The ASK Model

5.5 Footnote to Taxonomies: Beware!

5.6 Review

5.7 Next Steps

Chapter 6: Feedback and the SOLO Taxonomy
6.0 The SOLO Taxonomy

6.1 How the SOLO Taxonomy Relates to the Learning Challenge

6.2 How the SOLO Taxonomy Relates to Feedback

6.3 How the SOLO Taxonomy Relates to Learning

6.4 The SOLO Treehouse

6.5 Review

6.6 Next Steps

Chapter 7: Seven Steps to Feedback
7.0 Background

7.1 Using the Seven Steps to Feedback

7.2 The Seven Steps to Feedback: Some Final Thoughts

7.3 But There’s No Time!

7.4 Review

7.5 Next Steps

Chapter 8: Tools for Feedback
8.0 Using the Learning Challenge to Generate Feedback Questions

8.1 Learning Challenge Feedback Questions: Stage 1

8.2 Learning Challenge Feedback Questions: Stage 2

8.3 Learning Challenge Feedback Questions: Stage 3

8.4 Learning Challenge Feedback Questions: Stage 4

8.5 Learning Detectives

8.6 Examples of Clues for Learning Detectives to Search For

8.7 Review

8.8 Next Steps and Further Reading

Repertoire and Judgment Notes

"This is a timely well researched, practical view into the teachers’ view of Visible Learning and all this research can do to advance learning for all students. Written in an engaging, example filled, light humorous style it gives the reader some real practical examples of formative assessment strategies, clarity about learning intentions and success criteria, the essence of good lesson design. It’s what we have been waiting for to make Visible Learning come alive for our teachers in the classroom."

Ainsley B Rose, Corwin Consultant
West Kelowna BC, Canada

"This was a thought provoking read and one I will reference over and over again. The authors have created a thorough reference for all teachers working to make their feedback impact learning, not only student learning, but their own. This will be a valuable reference for educators for years to come. I think that this reaches beyond classroom walls and will also help administrators model feedback for teachers and make an impact on the growth of student achievement."

Katina Keener, Elementary Principal
Hayes, VA

"This book is a must-have for teachers. It’s easy-to-read and easy-to-implement. Feedback provided at the right time and in the right manner increases student motivation and learning outcome.  It is relevant for all grade levels."

Joyce Sager, Reading Teacher for Dyslexic High School Students
Gadsden, AL

"A great tool for professional development and personal growth for any educator. This book is the add-on I need during feedback sessions. Teachers need the examples and explanations this book offers."

Harry Dickens, Education Consultant
Texarkana, TX

"With the rapid emergence of formative assessment used in support of learning, refinements also are emerging in our understanding of how to use of descriptive feedback during learning to promote student success.  This new book provides the most up-to-date and complete treatment synthesis of those understandings.  Rare is the book that offers guidance both to scholars and practitioners, but this book does both."

Rick Stiggins, Assessment Consultant
Corwin Author

"This book is for anyone who wants to help others get better. I found myself taking notes in chapter after chapter because of the practical advice based on succinct summaries of research and evidence. I could incorporate the ideas in my classes the next day. Nottingham and Nottingham remind us that “to assess” means “to sit beside.” They come alongside us as readers to help us better understand how to move beyond advice and evaluation to feedback that leads to improvement."

Jon Eckert, Associate Professor, Author, The Novice Advantage
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

"Feedback – a noun or a verb? A separate practice or an integral part of the learning process? Something we do ‘to students’ or ‘with students’? The Nottinghams sort it all out for us – the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of the process and the practice of feedback. A simply and elegantly organized book with tons of resources that guide educators to practice quality feedback. A ‘must read’ for all teacher teams!"

Barb Pitchford, Co-author
Leading Impact Teams: Building a Culture of Efficacy (2016)

"This book is an accessible and comprehensive guide - one that provides the whole picture when it comes to offering quality feedback to deepen student learning. Each chapter ends with questions that inspired me to reflect and take a hard look at where I am in my feedback journey. Busy instructional leaders will appreciate the organizational structure of the book as well as the clear definitions and practical examples that can used to help teachers envision the ideas into practice."

Abbey S. Duggins, Author and Assistant Principal for Instruction
Using Quality Feedback to Guide Professional Learning, Saluda High School, Saluda, SC

"Finally a practical book on feedback for teachers!  The Nottinghams cut through the hype and misinformation and brings teachers a valuable tool they will want to revisit often throughout their career. It is written with the teacher in mind, lesson plan in hand, and relevant to all in education. The perfect school-wide book study book!"

Lisa Cebelak, Education Consultant
Grand Rapids, MI

"James and Jill Nottingham have once again equipped educators with practical applications and examples of how to not only increase learning, but ensure it will happen at the greatest possible levels. They provide teachers with strategies for creating the culture their classrooms need to help students reach the “Eureka moments” where learning becomes accelerated by the students…and their desire to grow and learn even more is augmented. Finally, they deliver rich guiding examples for teachers to increase teacher clarity through the development of high quality learning intentions and success criteria to help students know when they have met these intentions. This is an essential foundational element for feedback to have a place to originate from and be effective for learning. I highly recommend this book as a bucket-list read for any educator!"

Dave Nagel, Education Consultant and Author
Effective Grading Practices for Secondary Teachers, Indianapolis, IN

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

James Andrew Nottingham

James Nottingham is co-founder and director of Challenging Learning, a group of companies with 30 employees in 6 countries. His passion is in transforming the most up-to-date research into strategies that really work in the classroom. He is regarded by many as one of the most engaging, thought-provoking and inspirational speakers in education. His first book, Challenging Learning, was published in 2010 and has received widespread critical acclaim. Since then, he has written 6 books for teachers, leaders, support staff, and parents. These books share the best research and practice connected with learning; dialogue; feedback; the... More About Author

Jill Nottingham

Jill Nottingham’s background is in teaching, leadership and consultancy.  She has been a teacher and leader in kindergartens and schools in some of the more socially deprived areas of North East England.  During that time, she developed many approaches to teaching children how to learn that are still being used in schools and taught in universities today. Jill has also trained with Edward de Bono at the University of Malta, and has studied for a Masters degree in Education with the University of Newcastle.Jill now leads Challenging Learning’s pre-school and primary school consultancy.  She has written many of the Challenging... More About Author

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