A prop from the lesson where students gave a guided (public) critique of each other's performance

A prop from the lesson where students gave a guided (public) critique of each other’s performance

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:

  1. Be kind (but honest)
  2. Be hard on content (but soft on the person)
  3. 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).