Been trying to get more of this into my lessons recently. Although that was before I read an article on http://classteaching.wordpress.com (check it out, lots of good ideas and reflections).
80% of feedback a student receives about his or her work in primary school is from other students. But 80% of this student provided feedback is incorrect!”
So how can we do it well? I’m not great at it but these are things that I have been learning.
1) Give students a simple set of criteria and a simple scoring system.
You may need to ditch the levels for a while. If for example you are assessing speaking could you assess various aspects of it, e.g: confidence, pronunciation, intontation etc. Score each one out of 5 to keep life easy or 4 if your school is not facing OFSTED.
2) Teach them how to identify levels
If using levels then make sure they know that the need multiple examples of tenses to get higher levels. Ditch the sub-levels for a while. Make sure that they know what the verbs are. I find this is the most difficult bit.
3) Don’t let them get away with minimalist contributions or comments.
Last year, I remember one student wrote “good use of connectives”, the only issue was that they had no idea what else to write. There was also not a single connecting word in the piece of work! Students need a checklist of things to work through.
4) 2 stars and a wish is not always practical.
Make sure that if peers are asked to give positive and negative comments (or areas of improvement) then they do as many as they can. I find sometimes that 2 stars is a bit of a stretch.
5) Don’t give it to the person next to them.
Shake things up a little. Get them to hand their books to someone completely different. Even insist they do not look at the name on the front. They’re more likely to write honest feedback if they don’t know who they are writing for. Also helps to avoid numerous hearts, flowers, declarations of affection and all sorts of teenage artwork gracing your exercise books.