Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Using the Grey Matter: Feedback On Presentations

One Idea Leads To Another

A little while ago, I started using Google Drawing and then Presentation for digital worksheets with students. When doing so, I often put the things I wanted the students to manipulate on the grey area beside the drawing/slide. That gave me an idea - that I could use that space to provide feedback or instructions to students. 

Being a fan of Poirot, I liked the idea of using the little "grey cells" aka grey matter (which processes information in the brain).

Enhancing An Old Project

One of my first Presentation projects I did with students was having them create a cultural presentation on the Inuit. I continue to do this project for social studies. This year I decided to try providing visual feedback to students before their work was marked. The main reason for this is that I have some students not reading at grade level, so the comment function in Google Apps is not always effective for those students as they still require me to read it to them. I want to build as much independence, and with that responsibility, as possible. 

Visual And Written Feedback

I reduced the criteria we had set as a class into point form. 
  • 4 correct ideas and 2+ images
  • 3 correct ideas and 2+ images
  • 2 correct ideas and 1+ images
  • minimal work is correct/complete.
In front of each phrase I drew a circle.

Then I added this mini-rubric to each slide on my template prior to sharing it with students to work on. 

When students were mostly done the project, I went through each Presentation and filled in the circle that I felt was representative of the work done on each slide. Then students were given one last time to work on their project.  I used green to fill in the top three circles as all of those were considered a pass. The bottom one I filled in with yellow to bring attention to that fact that that slide needed work before it was marked. If no work was done at all, no circles were filled in.

Prior to letting them start, I went over what the each line said and we discussed that the top circle represented a "wow" great work and the bottom one represented a reminder to correct or complete work done on that slide. 

While my students who struggle with reading might not have been able to read all the phrases, they were able to easily see and understand which slides needed to be "moved up" as one student put it. As a result they were able to start working on those slides that needed attention immediately. 

Added Bonus

What is nice bonus is that when students present their work using the present button, the feedback will not show. 

Rinse and Repeat

Like all things, the more we use something, the more effective we become at it. So I used it for the next Presentation students completed as well. This time students were doing a final project for math (3D objects). 

Again, I reduced the marking rubric to point form and drew circles in front of each statement. Students were again reminded that the top circle represented a "wow" and the bottom represented not ready to hand in.
  • correct, in-depth, precise, purposeful
  • correct, complete, relevant , thoughtful
  • mostly correct, generally complete, acceptable  
  • minimal work is correct and/or complete.
Below is an example of the work that was first submitted. Then I provided some feedback. The second below is my feedback and the work that resulted from it.



In general, I was really please with how well it worked. Students were able to quickly focus on the slides that needed the most attention with more independence; it freed me up to work with students with the highest need of support .. It was also useful for me when working with students as I could do a quick scroll review/see what slides needed the most attention when helping students with their work. I will definitely continue to use this strategy.

What's Next? Self Assessment

Rita Sarrate had a good suggestion: You could also use it as self-assessment, by letting them underline the sentence that applies to how they think their work is, before you assess. I think once students have this system as a part of their work routine, it would interesting to see how it could be used for self assessment with younger students.

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