August 7, 2018

Multitype Feedback: Summary of an article from Pédagogie collégiale

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

This article was first published in French.

Did Karine Bélair’s real life story on giving feedback by audio capsules capture your interest? In Volumes 28 and 29 of Pédagogie collégiale, 2 articles on feedback to students got my attention:

In the following, I will present Catherine Bélec’s text. A summary of  Isabelle Cabot and Marie-Claude Lévesque’s text is the object of another Profweb article.

What Catherine Bélec did

In ”La rétroaction multitype – Corriger des rédactions : quand la combinaison de différents types de rétroactions aide nos étudiants… et nous simplifie la vie”, Catherine Bélec, teacher at Cégep Gérald-Godin, explains that all of the types of feedback (marking with a pen, using a code or a descriptive correction grid, etc) have advantages and disadvantages.

She decided to combine different types of feedback to create what she called a multitype feedback and thus benefit from the strengths of the individual types of feedback while reducing the weaknesses.

Catherine Bélec corrected her students’ essays for the course Introduction à la littérature while using:

  • Comments written with a stylus on an iPad for the grammar and spelling errors in French.
  • Audio capsules to give more detailed explanations or encouragements.
  • A list of comments (she created herself) that contained the students’ most frequent errors.
  • A list of links, some of which connected to exercises on the Amélioration du français website, and others to definitions, etc.
  • Some digital stamps (“Bravo”, “Well done”, “You are repeating yourself”, etc.) for short recurring comments.

She did all of that using the iPad application iAnnotate and Adobe Acrobat Pro (but all of that can be done with Acrobat Reader DC freeware).

A student’s assignment annotated by Catherine Bélec.

Very promising results

In her exploratory research, Catherine Bélec noticed that the students who had received a multitype feedback:

  • Better understood the feedback
  • Were more open to the comments
  • Requested further information

This transpired in their result: when they had the opportunity to leverage the teacher’s feedback to rewrite their text, their grades improved more than the grades of students who had received traditional hand written feedback.

Incidentally, multitype marking does not represent a significant increase in the teacher’s workload.  When she experimented, Catherine Bélec spent more time to mark the first copies in “multitype mode” than to mark in the traditional way. However, this can be explained by the fact that she had to learn how to use the necessary technological tools. After a few copies, the correction time became the same for both methods.

Multitype feedback: a constructive tool

Catherine Bélec notes that her students used the multitype feedback as a constructive tool. The feedback seemed to have a beneficial impact on their motivation and their capacity for self-regulation.

Isn’t this inspiring? And what is great about it is that it can apply to the marking of any written assignment in any discipline. Have you tried any similar marking methods? Share your experience!

Carré gris Thank you to Stéphanie Carle, chief editor of Pédagogie collégiale for her cooperation for this article.

About the author

Catherine Rhéaume

Catherine Rhéaume is an editor and writer for Eductive (previously Profweb) since 2013. She also teaches physics at Cégep Limoilou. Her work for Eductive fosters her interest for technopedagogy and encourages her to try innovative teaching practices.

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