Using feedback and self-reflection to empower adult learners in math, reading and writing
Brown, Katherine Tyler Swaim
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Adults bring a wealth of accumulated experience to a classroom, and studies have shown that adult students benefit from relevant, student-centered practices that involve them in their education. Assessment methods must be appropriate and offer time to act upon the result. This study looked at the impact that clear learning objectives, timely teacher feedback, and opportunity for student reflection would have on a student's understanding of their own progress towards class advancement in a class that did not offer grades and could be repeated. A portfolio of student work was compiled to judge student effort. Additional factors assessed included attendance, mindset, and attitude toward the teacher and student role in the classroom. The study found that when students are given a clear statement of course goals and feedback about their work through self-reflection and instructor communication, they have a solid understanding of their academic progress. In addition, the instructor has sufficient evidence to make a compatible decision. Students whose move-up decision matched the instructor's tended to have greater attendance and higher mindset motivation scores than those whose decisions did not match the instructor's.