Verbal Feedback on Writing

Instead of writing feedback on student written work, use voice recording technology to make comments, relay high expectations, and promote a growth mindset.

Many times, feedback on writing assignments can be focused on mistakes.  Here is a method to give more balanced feedback in a mode in which students can more easily engage.

Strategy summary:

When correcting written assignments, instead of writing notes on a student's paper, make symbols or write numbers, and speak your comments into a voice recorder.  To read the inspiration for this practice, click here.

How to:

Before Class:

Using the rubric for the assignment, decide on three main areas to focus upon with your comments.  These will be the MAIN items you will provide feedback on.

During Class:

1) Explain to students that the standard feedback method will not be used for an assignment. Instead, the teacher will give verbal feedback and send it to students via email (Teacher will need to have all students’ working emails.).

2) When the deadline for the writing assignment arrives, ask students to send written assignments to you via email or on a Google doc.

When Grading:

3)  Become familiar with the  voice recorder found on your phone or set up an account with a recording app. (Voicethread is an example.) 

4) Engage recorder and read student work without a pen. Instead, pretend you are sitting with them and talk to them as you go through the paper. 

5) Make sure your first comment (before you talk about the paper) is one that expresses high expectations and growth mindset (“I’m giving you these comments because I have high standards and know that you can meet them”).

6) Email papers with comments back to students.

7) Allow students to listen to feedback on provided laptops or their own devices at the end of class. Provide opportunities for students to ask questions and revise writing.

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