Too Much Applause?

A very quick one, because I’ve got marking looming as usual. I read an interesting post on Lifehacker about seeking feedback rather than applause. It reflected something we discussed at a recent department meeting, that we need to ensure that to help all students progress, we need to be specific with praise as well as constructive with criticism. I think we all know about giving students specific and measurable targets to improve when marking books; Underline all titles rather than Keep work neater for example.

But we need to do the same when we praise students too. We need to tell them why we thought that a piece of work was excellent, so they know to look back at it for guidance when they struggle with a related task or concept. Otherwise it’s just clapping. Applause is nice – but feedback is better.

My browser is refusing to let me add the link so I’ll just have to paste it:



2 thoughts on “Too Much Applause?”

  1. Wise words – ones that particularly apply when you’re trying to get students to master extended writing for exams, I find. I’m finding myself using the phrase “this is a good answer because…” a lot in my HW marking just at the moment. A mark’s a mark, a bit of gushing just a nice feeling, but feedback, as my mate Debs always tells me, is a gift 🙂

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