Tips & Techniques: Assessment with Stoplight Feedback

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Here’s an idea that a student in a class I taught this summer shared with me. I LOVE it and wanted to share it here.

First, THANKS to Roberta Slobodian for letting me share this.

Here’s her idea:

When you assess something (it could be anything) mark it with a RED, YELLOW, or GREEN dot or star. Each colour means something. I bet you can guess what each one means without even being told:

GREEN: Full steam ahead. It means you’re on the right track, keep it up.

YELLOW: Caution. Needs improvement. There are some issues you need to work on.

RED: STOP. There’s a problem. Come see me.

 

Here’s what Roberta discovered:

The part that I didn’t expect was how they treated it a bit like a game, sharing with their classmates the colour they received, but more importantly, it worked! Students with yellow and red were actually coming to see me for extra help, rather than stuffing it into their binder and ignoring it.

 

SO simple. I think the use of quick, simple feedback is highly under rated. I understand the value of detailed, considered feedback, but when you have more than a dozen or so students to deal with it quickly becomes very onerous.
There’s a real talent to finding fast feedback mechanisms that support people as they more toward their ‘learning goals’ without being trite or too silly. Gamification is a great idea, but not if it is simply superficial. This one is neither.

 

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