My school has a focused professional growth and evaluation plan that involves a Personal Teaching Initiative (PTI). The PTI asks us to find some part of our practice that we’d like to improve. This year I chose feedback, as I’d like to improve not only how quickly I provide feedback but the quality of my feedback. And to add to the ‘high quality’ feedback discussion, I’m working on finding methods to actually engage students in my feedback so that it is used more effectively.
To that end I’m creating a comment bank for my MYP chemistry labs and for my DP chemistry labs. They will not be the same, as they are based on different criteria. There are two main reasons I’m creating the comment banks. First, I am trying to make marking more efficient so I can complete it quickly – yet still effectively. Second, I am hopeful that my comments in the comment bank will actually be more descriptive/explanatory, and thus of more value to the students.
Last weekend I marked a set of labs for my MYP chemistry class and created the comment bank as I went along. The comment bank can be found here. I simply added comments to the comment bank that were used multiple times within my class of 20. On the lab report of a particular student, the raw data table might say “E.1” for the comment. The student then goes to the comment bank (linked on my class website) and sees that E.1 means, “Uncertainty (or uncertainties) missing from raw data table.” When I have time, I’d ideally like to add more detail (see the “second reason” above for my justification). For E.1 the extra detail might be a sample data table that actually has proper uncertainties. If you have feedback on the MYP comment bank, I’d love to hear it! And feel free to borrow the comment bank and make it your own.
Now for my DP comment bank, I’m interested in getting some feedback on actual comments to include. Therefore I’ve created a survey (linked here) for people to add to my comment bank. If you have a comment that you use repeatedly in marking your DP students’ work, please share it here. If you complete my survey, I ask at the end if you’d like me to email you a copy of the results. Once I am done (give it a few weeks or more), I’ll compile the comments – trying to condense the comments that are similar – into a new comment bank and share that with interested teachers. I am asking you to share your email in the survey. I will not use your email for any purpose other than to send you the results when I am finished. And I will not share your email with anybody else.
I plan on sharing my impressions of using the comment bank with my classes, along with a few of the strategies I’ve developed (or borrowed from others!) to engage students with my feedback.
Thanks for your help.
Until then, happy marking!