This week I’ve been to Drama to witness what is sometimes called ‘guided critique’ at work. The students were performing their composed pieces and then afterwards STF moderated a session where all the other students gave critical (and productive) feedback. This was framed by the examination criteria which STF used to guide his questioning. I think it is fair to say that the students were far more objective and critical than I expected them to be. The feedback was both very precise and directed at suggesting improvements that the groups could make. Students seemed to receive the critique pretty well and as I left were furiously scribbling down ideas from other groups into their evaluations.
I’ve read about a similar technique from the blogger David Didau . In his post he quotes some useful rules about using this feedback strategy which were helpfully modeled by STF and his class:
- Be kind (but honest)
- Be hard on content (but soft on the person)
- Be specific
He also suggests that effective feedback needs to be modeled first, building up from the sort of teacher moderated session that I saw (‘Guided critique’) to more peer-led sessions that he labels as ‘Gallery critique’, where everyone has an open opportunity to offer comments (e.g. attaching post-it notes or annotations to an essay).