Developing Selfregulating Learners through a Systematic Formative Feedback Process What pedagogical interventions can involve proactive student engagement with formative tasks and feedback for self-regulation? What types of deliberate practice are required to develop assessment capable students? By Alison Ya-Wen Yang, MYP coordinator and Rhys Tyers, Language and Literature Teacher KIS International School
16 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Context In order to develop self-regulated learners, we know we want to involve students in taking more responsibility for their own learning and become assessment capable. Professor Hattie’s research emphasizes the learners’ engagement with the feedback process and its role in developing assessment-capable learners who are able to regulate their own learning. Hattie notes that developing assessment capable students who know the learning intention for what is being taught can describe where they are in relation to the success criteria and can then use that information to determine the best learning strategies to improve their work and performance is the number one factor for improving student achievement (Hattie, 2009). We reflect on our feedback process with our students as well as the reporting process. KIS reports four times a year. In October and March, progress reports with narrative comments are issued. In December and June semester reports with MYP 1-7 grades are issued.The feedback on the narrative report cards has not always been useful to our students and parents because it was summative rather than formative. Students have not had an opportunity to construct meaning from the feedback to make subsequent improvements as they have moved on to the next unit of learning. Additionally, the language used for narrative reports was usually academic and based on the published MYP assessment criteria descriptors, which made it difficult to decipher. The feedback was inaccessible to some students and parents due to the language barrier. We also observed that students lack strategies and tools to bridge their learning gaps as many of the comments were very general and contained little or no specific strategies to guide students on goal setting and move them forward. Last but not least, teachers spent a substantial amount of time grading summative assessments and providing feedback in order to collect evidence for the October and March report card comments. Students work endlessly to complete many summative assessments from different subjects in a very short period of time. The workload of teachers and students often causes them to burn out and has a negative impact on their well-being. Burnout decreases the self-efficacy of teachers and students and has a negative impact on their emotional health and motivation. Teachers and students are often observed being stressed and exhausted during the narrative report card writing periods. With this in mind, a group of teachers launched the Formative Assessment and Feedback Project in an effort to foster student and teacher self-regulation and well-being. The aim of this action research project is to investigate how implementing a systematized formative assessment and feedback process model can engage students proactively with feedback and simultaneously promote teacher agency.