This pilot project focused on improving teachers’ understanding and use of effective feedback. Participating teachers tried to incorporate feedback into their lessons to help pupils understand their learning goals and become able to develop strategies to reach them. The project employed a cyclical action research design, through which teachers reviewed academic literature on effective feedback before developing ways to apply it in the classroom. The project took place over one school year and involved nine treatment and five comparator schools in the London Borough of Bexley. All pupils in Years 2 – 6 took part in the study.
Existing international research suggests that improving the quality of feedback in the classroom has the potential to improve learning significantly. However, studies also highlight the difficulties in improving feedback in practice, and there are few clear examples of how to improve feedback in English schools. This project sought to develop a way of improving feedback led by schools.
The pilot evaluation had three aims. First, to assess the feasibility and promise of an approach to improving feedback which required schools to review, understand and apply research findings, including academic papers. Second, to provide formative recommendations that could be used to improve the approach in the future. Third, to provide an initial quantitative assessment of the approach’s impact on academic attainment that could be used to inform any future trial.