Feedback Technique: Percentage building bar charts

16 Mar

This is something I tried out with a class yesterday as a way of giving ongoing partial feedback on a set of module review questions, though I think it would work as a feedback technique on any larger exercise or activity, more those that have clear unambiguous answers though.

Basically, before the class I created an answer sheet on A4 paper in two columns:  the left column had the question reference (e.g. page 74, ex1, qu3) and the right column had a blank space for the learners to write their answers.  Then I created a teacher crib sheet where I wrote down the answers.  This was just to minimise the amount of time spent working out whether their answers were correct or not.

I divided the class into four teams and the board into four columns, with a percentage scale from 0% to 100% running up the side.  In this lesson, the teams were working with 23 CPE use of English style questions – obviously this can be adapted to your situation & task requirements.  I divided 100 by the number of questions (23), which works out at 4.3.  So when giving each team feedback, I’d just multiply the number of correct answers by 4.3 and increase the height of each team’s bar chart to the relevant level.  So if they’d got five correct answers, their bar chart column would be filled in on the board to 21.5%.

I then found they were checking their answers after making single changes, so I limited the number of times they could check their answers with me – in this instance they got four opportunities to check their answers with me.  If I was using this with a smaller number of questions, I’d reduce that to one or two opportunities.

The winning team is the one that either gets 100% correct, or the team with the highest percentage score at the end of the time limit.

Additional support – it did become clear that it was quite difficult to work out where they were getting things wrong, so I then told them how many correct answers they had in each exercise:  5 / 0 / 1 / 2.  If we’d had more time I would have given them an additional lifeline by simply marking which answers were correct and which were not – but we ran out of time and I ended up setting the rest of the exercises for homework.  We’ll come back to it next time!

This is another nice and competitive way of using those slightly dry “end of module review”  or the periodic “revision” sections that crop up in coursebooks from time to time, or as an alternative for exam practice tasks.  There are two key things to remember as the teacher – (1) take the crib sheet – it makes check answers a LOT quicker  (2) take a calculator in with you – 13 x 4.3 is beyond my mental arithmetic skills!

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One Response to “Feedback Technique: Percentage building bar charts”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Checking answers to exercises with bar charts | efl-resource.com - Tuesday 27 March 2012

    […] answers to exercises with bar charts Posted on 16 March, 2012 by Simon Thomas David Petrie shares a useful feedback technique he’s been experimenting with.Share this post:Bookmark on DeliciousDigg this postRecommend on FacebookGoogle Buzz-up this […]

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