Initiate, not wait: Students’ help-seeking as flipped feedback

Year: 2018

Author: Fletcher, Anna

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Explicit and targeted feedback is widely acknowledged as an essential feature of classroom practice that promotes learner autonomy, by making the next learning steps clear to students. While feedback is recognised as a high-impact teaching strategy, it is on the condition that learners take onboard the input. Consequently, it remains a pressing challenge for teachers to scaffold the active involvement of students as critical, reflective and autonomous learners who use feedback constructively. This paper explores feedback as a student-initiated learning action, manifested within classroom practice as adaptive help-seeking for learning. The study was conducted as a practitioner inquiry involving teachers and students from years 2, 4 and 6 at an Australian primary school, working together in a three-phase writing project which accommodated a forethought phase, a performance phase and a hindsight phase.  Data was gathered through students’ planning templates, writing samples, interviews with students and teachers along with email correspondence with the teachers. A framework of social cognitive theory guided the analysis.
Findings indicate that the three-phase Assessment as Learning (AaL) process has the potential to support teachers in scaffolding students to seek help at time when they are receptive to feedback. Furthermore, this AaL approach appears to have enhanced the teachers’ practice, particularly in respect to providing support for students during the forethought stage of the learning process. Practical techniques for scaffolding students’ adaptive help-seeking as part of the assessment and learning process are presented.