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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

"Not only does this book support teachers in developing a deep understanding of quality descriptive feedback, the authors give practical examples of how to design learning intentions and success criteria to lift the quality of feedback during lessons. The authors offer innovative feedback tools based on The Learning Challenge (The Learning Pit); these innovative tools will support teachers in ensuring that feedback is reliable and valid when partnering with students to create a true learning culture!"

Paul Bloomberg, Education Consultant and Author
The Core Collaborative, Leading Impact Teams, San Diego, CA

"James Nottingham’s work on Challenging Learning is a critical element of creating Visible Learners. This new series will help teachers hone the necessary pedagogical skills of dialogue, feedback, questioning, and mindset. There’s no better resource to encourage all learners to know and maximize their impact!"

John Hattie, Professor & Director, Melbourne Education Research Institute
University of Melbourne

"Challenging Learning Through Feedback is an inspiring read! The authors drive home the notion that students need concrete examples to show them what success looks like for a given learning intention. I can honestly say that my own ability to use formative assessments to give quality feedback to my students has been greatly enhanced through reading it."


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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