Foundation of Learning

Photo courtesy of premasaga, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0

This week in my CEP 811 course, I had the opportunity to watch Richard Culatta’s Tedx Talk on Reimagining Learning.  Culatta brought up three main challenges that teachers face.  He claimed that 1) We treat all learners the same despite unique needs and challenges, 2) We hold the schedule constant and allow learning to vary, and 3) Performance data comes to0 late to be useful to the learner (2013).  I found the third one resonated with me the most.  As stated in Chapter 3 of How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School “Feedback has long been identified as important for successful learning…”  (Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R., 2000).  One way to help students be successful is by providing immediate feedback.

In the article, The Power of Feedback by John Hattie and Helen Timperley they discuss the importance of providing students with feedback.  It is stated in the article that, “…the type of feedback and the way it is given can be differentially effective” (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).  The authors discuss three questions that both teachers and students need to keep in mind, 1) Where am I going?, 2) How am I going?, 3) Where to next? (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).  Then it breaks down into four different levels of feedback that can be provided and which ones are the most beneficial to students.  They are feedback regarding the task, process, regulatory, and self-levels (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).   It was stated that effective instruction followed by feedback is a powerful influence on the students learning (Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007).

check, TR. Creative Commons licensed.

To add to that, in the article Test Anxiety and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique by David DiBattista and Leanne Gosse, they discuss the idea of students getting anxiety before a multiple choice test and how their anxiety is lowered when they know they will receive immediate feedback (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  In the study they conducted, there were 215 students (185 who used the IFAT system) and 167 of the participants (90%) were female, with the ages ranging from 19-43 in a psychology class (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).

The study began by first introducing the students to the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IFAT) three weeks prior to using it (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  The system included 1.0, .25, .1, 0 marks being awarded for the first, second, third, and fourth attempts on a 37 multiple choice question test.  Students ended up scoring 6% higher on the test using the IFAT in comparison to not using the IFAT (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  When using IFAT, 20% of students said they liked learning the right answer (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  More than half of the students agreed that IFAT reduced their anxiety (DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006).  Providing immediate feedback helped in this situation and allowed for students to earn partial credit and reduce anxiety.

After reading these articles, a faster way to provide feedback is through technology. For example, in the Tedx Talk with Culatta, there was a great example where students were given three questions at the end of each lesson, then the app generated each student’s lesson for the next day, based on what was learned and understood from the previous day’s lesson.  This was a great way where students were given immediate feedback and it played directly into the following lessons, just like the immediate feedback given using the IFAT system.  The ‘Maker Movement’ will hopefully keep this objective in mind, creating more technologies that will help students to be successful and create lessons at the pace that each student needs.

I know as a student, I like feedback in a timely manner so that I can apply the feedback to my work right away.  Feedback that is received late, becomes useless.  I say provide feedback in a timely manner, don’t go too in depth, and allow the student to fix their answers.  After all, that’s how they will actually LEARN and RETAIN their misinterpreted ideas.

So the next question to ask ourselves is…what is effective feedback?


Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. National Academies Press. Retrieved from

Culatta, R. (2013). Reimagining Learning: Richard Culatta at TEDxBeaconStreet [Video File]. Retrieved from

DiBattista, D., & Gosse, L.. (2006). Test Anxiety and the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique. The Journal of Experimental Education74(4), 311–327. Retrieved from, TR. Check Mark. [Image]. Retrieved from

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H.. (2007). The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research77(1), 81–112. Retrieved from

Premasaga. (2010). Feedback from Around the Web. [Image]. Retrieved from