Feedback can help you own your learning

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Walt Disney

How do you like to learn?

Learning for school can be fun … but sometimes isn’t. How do you like to learn? Alfred, Tobias, Magnus and Julius from Buddinge school, Denmark, share their views in this short video. Do you agree with them?

How do you know if you are doing well at school?

“To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.”
Michael Jordan Probably the best basketball player ever

Many students don’t like tests. What about you? Do you find grades helpful? Do your teachers also give you concrete feedback on tasks? See what Alfred, Tobias, Magnus, and Julius think about tests. In the video, Julius says that his teacher’s feedback helps him to know what to do next. Do you agree?

This short animation video shows how feedback from classmates on your work can be helpful. Do you like getting feedback in this way? Digital tools can do this too. Do you find using digital tools help you learn about your progress?

(Why) is feedback useful for you to learn better?

“I mean we all fly. Once you leave the ground, you fly. Some people fly longer than others.”
Michael Jordan

Watch this short video about a little bird that wants to learn how to fly. All he needed to succeed were some extra explanations. Can you think of a similar situation where a piece of advice or feedback from a teacher, your parents or a friend really helped you? Maybe you gave useful feedback to someone else?

What is good feedback?

Receiving feedback can be a great help for you

Good feedback can be very motivating. But when is feedback really useful? Good feedback focuses on how you completed a task (e.g. “You did this task very well”) and not you as a person (e.g. “You are smart”). Why do you think this is true? Good feedback also gives you concrete ideas on what to do next. Do you agree?

Providing feedback can help others

This is the best part about feedback: it can be two way! Hearing from you can be really important for your teachers. Did you find a particular lesson helpful, or have ideas about what your teachers could do differently? Tell them. Many will be pleased about your interest and glad to receive your feedback. Just keep in mind that teachers are human and prefer encouraging and constructive feedback – as we all do!

“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”
Walt Disney

Do you already plan your own learning?

Feedback can help you to understand better what you are already good at and what you still need to improve. Feedback can also help you to discover how you learn best. Finding out for yourself how best to learn instead of just doing what others tell you sounds scary, right? But think about it: who else knows better than you what you need to do to make progress in your learning?

You may already have an idea of what you like to do, and what you are good at. If you are not sure, just ask your friends, parents or teachers – you might be surprised by their answers! Starting from your strengths and interests might help you to also tackle learning challenges that you find more difficult. Who or what could help you best?

We all have different interests, strengths and weaknesses. Why not celebrate your own successes – and your classmates!

“You can practise shooting the ball eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.”
Michael Jordan

But how to get better in subjects or topics where you struggle? Maybe how you learn them doesn’t work for you. We all learn differently so why not try a different technique? Think what could help you: asking the teacher extra questions, finding answers online, or learning together with a friend?

“I approach everything step by step … I’d always set myself short-term goals. As I look back, each one of the steps or successes led to the next one.”
Michael Jordan

What can also help is to set yourself clear learning goals. Don’t just say ‘I want to be better in maths’, but ‘I want to understand the geometry tasks from the lesson last week.’ Maybe you want to write down your goals in your calendar? Do it online if you prefer.

You are responsible for your own learning; no one can learn for you. It is up to you to decide how you learn best. Successful people reach out for help all the time and ask lots of questions – and that’s one of the reasons why they are so successful.

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
Walt Disney