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Feedback Benefits All Stakeholders
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I made a call to my internet provider the other day to inquire about changing some of my current service features. Cutting the “cable cord” has increased our internet streaming usage, and I wanted to make sure I was getting the most out of my service. Rightfully so, I was asked questions about the way I utilized the service, how many users, locations and types of devices, etc. Essentially, I was being assessed so I could be guided towards the service plan that best fit my needs. At the end of the call, I was asked if I would be willing to complete a short survey regarding my experience. The questions were pretty simple, but very applicable to the purpose of the call: Was the customer service representative friendly? Did the phone call and service resolve the issue? There were other questions, but the point is, the company wanted feedback regarding their customer service. For the past several months I have been receiving physical therapy for an Achilles injury that has hindered my ability to run (a.k.a. my personal sanity control tool). Every time I attend therapy, I am assessed from the minute I walk into the door (filling out a form that ranks my pains and abilities) and throughout the entire visit with my PT. He monitors and measures my progress and from the feedback provided, he alters my treatment plan. His assessment of my progress and my feedback is as much for his role as the physical therapist to provide the appropriate treatment as it is for me, the patient, on the receiving end. Prior to the holiday break, I took my car in for an oil change and tire rotation. The next day, I received an email requesting me to complete a satisfaction survey. Similar to the above example, my local dealership wanted feedback regarding my experience as a consumer. At many restaurants, it is quite common to pay the bill at the kiosk that sits on your dining table. Last week I was dining with some people at an American casual restaurant chain where this feature was available. After paying the bill, I proceeded to fill out the survey—I always take the time to do this. The survey asked questions not only about the quality of my meal, but also questions about the general cleanliness of the restaurant, the service of the staff, and how likely I would be to dine there again in the future. They were seeking specific feedback in relation to my experience at that time.   Being in education, I have seen, too often, any type of assessment—formative, interim, or summative—focus solely on the student’s performance; however, I believe we have it completely backwards. The student is essentially the consumer in the education system.  When using assessment to collect feedback, instead of focusing on the end result of student performance, it would be wise for us as teachers and leaders to focus on these factors instead: Did we meet the needs of the student? If student results, aka feedback, indicate that there was a struggle with a standard or a concept, then what can we do to use that feedback to inform or modify our instructional strategies? How can we use the feedback to make the student want to come back to class every day, learn, and be successful?   When business and industry seek feedback, they value the information they get from everyone. They know they have to differentiate their products, their services, and continue to create a culture that meets the needs of all. As educators, we can do the same. I challenge each of us to begin to think about assessment and feedback differently and utilize feedback to inform and inspire solid instruction as well as quality learning. And as always, I welcome your feedback as well. ​ Renee Scott  Assistant Superintendent, USD 457  rscott@gckschools.com  @reneeflaxscott (twitter)
Posted by scottr  On Jan 11, 2018 at 1:14 PM 21 Comments