Learning Landscape Wednesday, 05 May 2021

When I type the word ‘feedforward’ on my computer, autocorrect desperately tries to revert it to ‘feedback’. But at Living Faith ‘feedforward’ is certainly not a typo and is no mistake.

Feedforward is part of the Living Faith culture. It encapsulates so much of what we do and what we believe about education and goes hand in hand with a growth mindset. Feedforward places a focus on learning over performance, of growth over product and provides a trajectory for our students’ improvement. As the name suggests, feedforward is about moving forward. It is about providing direction throughout the process, where edits and improvements can still be made so that we can truly learn from our mistakes and actually apply it.

On the flip side, feedback happens at the end of a project. It is a reflection of what was done well and what could have been improved without providing the opportunity for improvements to be made. Feedback is a final critique.

How do we use feedforward at Living Faith?

As I mentioned, feedforward is a culture and so it is woven into all areas of the classroom. Verbal feedforward is provided regularly throughout the day to guide and support students through tasks. In assessment tasks such as gateways, feedforward is provided to students before the completion of the gateway. This could be done through one on one or group conferencing, written feedforward and is done with reference to the Success Criteria.

In reading and writing, students engage in regular conferences with their teacher to discuss their progress and identify their individual reading and writing goals. This is tailored feedforward based on regular observation of student progress.

Similarly, in other subject areas teachers meet and discuss student work before it is complete, to help guide them to improve their work. Success Criteria form a fundamental part of the feedforward process at Living Faith. They form a clear guide to assessment expectations and break down exactly what students are required to do to achieve at a cool, warm or hot. Throughout a feedforward conference, teachers may indicate where a student’s work is currently sitting using the Success Criteria. Students can then see what areas they need to complete or develop further in order to bump up their work.

Feedforward is a conversation rather than a list of edits. Students ask questions, bounce ideas and actively discuss their progress in order to take ownership over their learning.

Feedforward is a major vehicle for improvement and growth. It places priority on what is actually important when it comes to education… learning.

- Bianca Ravi, Director of Learning