Analyzing Teacher Feedback
I often ponder what my behavior toward students and the feedback I give them looks and sounds like. I think I have an idea but many times after reviewing the type of feedback I have given students it turns out it was different than I thought. The third installment of my series on systematic observation addresses this issue using event recording, which focuses on teacher feedback, teacher prompting, teacher questioning skills, and other essential teaching skills. Event recording can also be used to focus on student behavior, which I will discuss in a later blog. For this specific blog I will just be discussing teacher feedback.
Described below are different types of teacher feedback. The definitions used were found in the Behavior Category Definitions packet given to me by Dr. Hans van der Mars. Later in this post I discuss methods to analyze these different types of teacher feedback using an event recording spreadsheet.
- Verbal positive general feedback: a supportive statement towards students motor technique responses. Telling a student, “good job” or “outstanding work” are both examples of this.
- Verbal positive specific technique feedback: verbal statements by the teacher that reflect a positive value judgment of students technique responses and include exact information for students. An example of this would be telling a student, “I really like the way you stepped forward with your opposite foot when you were throwing overhand.”
- Verbal positive specific tactical feedback: verbal statements by the teacher which reflect a positive value judgment of students tactical responses and include exact information for the student. Saying, “I really like the way you chose to kick the ball into open space” is an example of this.
- Verbal positive specific behavior feedback: verbal statements by the teacher that reflect the positive value judgment of all student behavior other than motor skill responses and tell students exactly what was done well.” An example of this would be saying, “thanks for freezing with your hands on your knees.”
- Corrective specific technique feedback: a verbal judgment by the teacher on the exact incorrectness of the student technique response. Telling a student, “your feet were too wide while doing the push-up. Make sure you place your feet together” would be an example of this.
- Corrective specific tactical feedback: a verbal judgment by the teacher on the exact incorrectness of the student tactical response. An example of this would be saying, “the set probably wasn’t a good choice for your third touch over the volleyball net.”
- Nonverbal positive feedback: nonverbal moves with the body by the teacher which reflect a positive value judgment of student performance on technique executions, tactical moves, and/or management tasks. Some examples of this would be simply giving a student a high-five, giving a thumbs up, or a fist bump.
- Variety of verbal feedback: the degree to which the teacher uses different ways of verbalizing approval of students performance on motor task and/or management tasks. For examples of this look at the sheet I have attached called 99 ways to say very good. This is important for Physical Educators so we don’t get stuck giving students the same positive verbal cue over and over again.
How to Use the Event Recording Spreadsheet
The event recording spreadsheet (Excel and Numbers) I’ve included with this post will help you to analyze different aspects of the feedback you give students while teaching. First, refer to the teacher feedback definitions listed above and select four that you would like to concentrate on. Next, have a colleague or administrator video record your lesson, making sure they follow you as you move around the gym. Also, make sure to wear a wireless microphone so you can hear all of the feedback you are giving students. After you finish your recording, simply download the spreadsheet and type the specific types of teacher feedback you desire to analyze in the cells labeled Behavior 1, 2, 3 and 4. As you watch your video, record each time you use one of the chosen types of teacher feedback. At the end, type the total number of times you use each type of teacher feedback in the Total Feedback column. Finally, add the total number of minutes for the observation in the Total Time column for each type of feedback. This will be used to calculate the rate at which you used a specific teacher feedback category during your lesson.
Note: 1) When analyzing variety of verbal feedback, choose four common words that you use while teaching as your four behaviors to see how much you use each verbalization. 2) Skill feedback should be divided by the total time spent in activity time.
The next installment on systematic observation on PHYSEDagogy will be focused on how to use event recording for teacher prompting, teacher question skills and other essential teaching skills.
Connect with me on Twitter if you have any questions: @collinbrooksie.