Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback

Pitler shares four recommendations for classroom practice related to setting objectives in the textbook Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works (pp. 17-18). Setting objectives is the process of establishing a direction to guide learning (Maranzo, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001; Pintrich & Schunk, 2002). When teachers communicate objectives for student learning, students can see more easily the connections between what they are doing in class and what they are supposed to learn (Pitler, p.17)
  1. Set learning objectives that are specific but not restrictive – By gauging their starting point in relation to the learning objectives and determining what they need to pay attention to and where they might need help from the teacher or others, students can minimize their anxiety about their ability to succeed (Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012)
  2. Communicate learning objectives to students and parents – keeping parents abreast on the objectives, classroom on goings and the expectations can cut down on parent complaints, eliminate misinformation and increase parent involvement (Pitler, p. 36)
  3. Connect learning objectives to previous and future learning – objectives create a roadmap for the student, parent and teacher allowing them to follow where they have been, where they are and where they are going.
  4. Engage students in setting personal learning objectives – research shows that allowing students to set some of their own learning goals increases their motivation to learn (Hom & Murphy, 1983)
Pitler also shares four recommendations for classroom practice with regard to providing feedback (Pitler, p.38):
  1. Provide feedback that addresses what is correct and elaborates on what students need to do next.
  2. Provide feedback appropriately in time to meet students’ needs – research shows that the more immediate the feedback is in classroom settings, the greater its impact on student behavior (Kulik & Kulik, 1988).
  3. Provide feedback that is criterion referenced
  4. Engage students in the feedback process
Providing students with feedback that is corrective, timely, and focused on criteria, along with involving students in the process, creates a classroom environment that supports learning. The goal of providing feedback is to give students information about how well they are performing relative to a particular learning objective so that they can improve their performance (Pitler, p.38).

Dean, C. Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B.J. (2012). Classroom instruction that works (2nd ed..) Alexandria, VA; ACSD.
Hom, H.L., Jr., & Murphy, M.D. (1983). Low achiever’s performance: The positive impact of a self-directed goal. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11, 275-285.
Kulik, J.A., & Kulik, C.C. (1988). Timing of feedback and verbal learning. Review of Educational Research, 58, 79-97)
McLeod, S., & Lehmann, C. (2012). Chapter 1: Blogs. In What school leaders need to know about digital technologies and social media (pp. 5, 9-10, 17). San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass.
Moranzo, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom Instruction that works:Research based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA ASCD.
Pitler, H. (2012). Chapter 1: Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback. In using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed., pp. 17-18, 35-38, 51).  Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

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