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SHARED ASSESSMENT: The Feedback Triangle


The Gradual Release of Responsibility is a framework that we use to build capacity in our students through a scaffolded approach to instruction. Part of this framework is the shared learning experience, where students co-construct new learning with the teacher, and with other students. There is another method for co-constructing deep understanding and that is through a shared assessment experience.

The Feedback Triangle, a concept I first learned of from Garfield Gini-Newman, is one such strategy for engaging students in a shared assessment experience. It’s a modification of traditional peer assessment in which the assessor becomes much more accountable for the quality of feedback provided.

Here’s the basic setup for the Feedback Triangle:
  • Person #1: presents their work for feedback to Person #2.
  • Person #2: provides feedback to Person #1 based on an existing set of criteria for the task.
  • Person #3: provides feedback to Person #2 based on a set of criteria for providing effective feedback.
  • Rinse & repeat!

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My first attempt at a Sketchnote!  Perhaps my last...

This strategy can be used in small group settings. However, I have observed the greatest impact with the Feedback Triangle when it is implemented as a whole class shared assessment. In a previous post, I explain how the Document Camera can be used to support such an approach.

Google Apps brings a whole new dynamic to this process. Once students become proficient at providing meaningful and relevant feedback through the Feedback Triangle, they can then apply this to the feedback shared within Google Docs. Imagine a scenario where one student shares their work with the class, giving all students CAN COMMENT in the sharing settings. At this point, students can highlight parts of the work and constructively identify strengths and next steps. Other students would be free to provide similar feedback of their own, or instead, provide feedback on the quality of the assessment given by other students. This can be done by simply replying to the comments made by others, as shown below:

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When I first implemented the Feedback Triangle in my classroom, I noticed that Person #3 would often declare the feedback given person #2 as effective, without regard to the accuracy of the feedback. To address this, I now require Person #3 to assess the quality and accuracy of the feedback provided by person #2.

There’s something to be said about predictability when considering the impact of a shared assessment practice. With enough repetition of the assessment/feedback/revision cycle, students may begin to anticipate the feedback that they receive from others, which could significantly impact the effectiveness of self-assessment.

Interested in learning more on how to use technology to support the Gradual Release of Responsibility? Check out an earlier post on The Gradual Release of Responsibility via Google Classroom.

We’d love to hear how you engage your students in shared assessment! Share your success stories, feedback and questions with us @inquireinspire #sharedassessment
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