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Messages - Anta

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English Grammar / Re: Story Writing
« on: March 12, 2020, 11:15:28 AM »
Thank you for sharing  :)

English Grammar / Re: Linking Words
« on: March 12, 2020, 11:14:57 AM »
Thanks for sharing  :)

Common Forum/Request/Suggestions / Cloud technology and education
« on: October 30, 2019, 04:56:02 PM »
How the Cloud Is Solving Challenges in Education

Cloud scalability and elasticity and the IaaS and SaaS service models are a perfect fit for addressing the trends and challenges in higher education at the end of 2018 and beyond.

Institutions of higher learning foster a unique culture of collaboration across faculty, students, and administrative staff, often in the face geographically-dispersed campuses. Today, nearly 70% of North American institutions of higher education have moved, or are in the process of moving, their admin systems to the cloud, and about 50% have adopted cloud-based collaboration systems to enhance the sharing of information across campus.

Why Educational Technology is Important

Demographically, university students are one of the most highly-networked and connected populations. According to a recent study, university students bring 3-4 devices to campus and expect to be able to use them all seamlessly across the university’s IT backbone in order to access content and collaborate. In most cases, the cloud is making it possible to meet those expectations.

Cloud services allow universities to cost-effectively upgrade communication and learning systems without massive capital investments in infrastructure. In the US, such savings are crucial in the face of shrinking government support for institutions of higher learning.

cloud computing in universities like many other sectors, there are different approaches to educational technology taking place. Higher education faces the challenge of managing and gaining insight from massive and growing quantities of data—from student and faculty information to sophisticated research analytics. Furthermore, this data requires high levels of security and governance in order to meet both privacy and intellectual property requirements. Cloud deployments—whether public, private, hybrid, or community—have proven highly effective in meeting these needs.

Yet another example is the support of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which first appeared on the higher education scene in 2012, with a modest worldwide enrollment of 1.5 million. By 2016, through leveraging cloud-based infrastructures, global MOOC enrollment figures had reached 58 million, with courses being offered by the world’s foremost universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia.

Last but certainly not least, higher education has become an increasingly competitive market. In order to remain attractive to faculty and students, institutions of higher learning are under pressure to rapidly and continuously launch new courses and introduce innovative learning methods and materials. As in the software world, cloud-enabled DevOps has become critical in the education sector for maintaining agility and a competitive edge. Being perceived at the cutting edge is also important for hiring and retaining top-tier IT personnel with cloud expertise.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Is Enhancing Educational Technology

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a customer-deployed data storage management platform that runs on and enhances the AWS storage and Azure storage in the public cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps NetApp’s education customers efficiently lift and shift workloads to the cloud, cost-effectively manage storage and secondary backups, and gain single-pane visibility across even the most complex infrastructures. Its key benefits include:

Data Migration and Data Replication with SnapMirror® and Cloud Sync. Cloud Sync provides rapid and secure file transfers between diverse source and target formats such as on-premises NFS or CIFS file shares, Amazon S3 object, Azure Blob or NetApp StorageGRID®, and Webscale appliances. With SnapMirror existing NetApp storage users get fast and incremental cross-platform data replication for backup, disaster recovery, and overall data mobility. After an initial baseline copy, only the changes made to the source data since the last synchronization are sent to the destination.

Data Protection with NetApp Snapshot® technology for creating instantaneous point-in-time copies of file systems. Create up to 255 snapshots per volume with impacting performance and only consuming a minimal amount of storage space.

Data Cloning with FlexClone®, which allows you to instantly clone data volumes of any size to writable destination volumes without copying the source data. New storage is allocated only for data changes made to the clone. This feature, which leverages the Snapshot technology, is particularly useful for creating temporary development and test environments.

Cost savings with built-in storage efficiencies: In-line deduplication and compression for up to 30:1 data-reduction ratios, along with thin provisioning and automated storage tiering between object and block storage on AWS and Azure.

Increased manageability with Cloud Manager. This single-pane data storage management control panel provides visibility across complex infrastructures.Education Success Stories with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
This section presents success stories of Cloud Volumes ONTAP customers in the education sector: a leading institution of higher learning and two education software vendors.

Monash University: From Cloud-First to Cloud-Only

Monash University is the largest university in Australia, employing and educating 80,000+ students, faculty, and administrative staff members in campus locations on four different continents. Driven by its mission “to inspire and equip students to be agents of change,” Monash University has been placed within the ranks of the top 1% of universities across the globe.

Monash University had made the strategic decision to move from a cloud-first to a cloud-only strategy and adopted a multicloud model based on AWS and Azure. It was faced with the task of migrating 3,500 workloads to the cloud within a 12-month period.

Using Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s lift & shift and data replication features and Cloud Manager’s intuitive interface, they were able to transition to the cloud seamlessly with 1-click full-stack provisioning. They ended up reducing their AWS storage spend by more than 25% and soon realized the benefits of being able to spin up and tear down new environments quickly (in minutes rather than months) as well as retaining data indefinitely.

To find out more about Monash’s digital transformation read the full case study here.

D2L: Moving Their Online Learning Platform to the Public Cloud

Founded in 1999, D2L (Desire to Learn) is a leading online learning platform for K-12, higher education, and corporate customers. Today, they support millions of users and thousands of schools, academic institutions, and corporations around the globe. In their highly competitive market, they stand out for their innovation, high availability, and quality.

In D2L’s early days, the public cloud was not mature enough to reliably meet their data storage and data management needs. So what D2L did was establish its own data center. As the company expanded, they found themselves managing petabytes of data (course materials, test scores, video content, and more). Maintaining their on-prem infrastructure was taking up too much time and money, resources they would rather have been using to move their core business forward.

That’s why D2L decided to transition its platform to AWS for on-demand scalability while using Cloud Volumes ONTAP for optimized management, enhanced storage efficiency, and better data protection. Well aware of the risk in shifting petabytes of production data to the public cloud, D2L relies on Cloud Volume ONTAP’s Snapshot copies and SnapMirror replication to quickly move their data while protecting it with cost-effective backup and disaster recovery capabilities.

Cloud Volume ONTAP’s built-in storage efficiencies (compression, deduplication) have also reduced the number of files to move, with 20-60% storage space savings depending on the type of workload. Cloud Volume ONTAP’s centralized data management and operational efficiencies were also essential in making it possible for D2L to implement a scalable all-cloud platform for their large (and growing) volume of data. The resources they have freed up have been reallocated to innovation that will enhance the customer experience.

To find out more about D2L’s move to the cloud view the customer webinar here.

Global eLearning Provider: On-Premises to the Cloud

One of the world’s largest education software companies, this customer provides managed web solutions for different types of educational software, including higher education technology, for tens of thousands of educational institutions around the world. Their operations include fully-dedicated and isolated development, staging, and production environments for each customer.

A veteran NetApp customer, they decided to deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP to migrate their on-premises systems from globally dispersed data centers to AWS. Already familiar with the benefits of SnapMirror and FlexClone, they now use these features to create highly-available NFS shares in AWS and to create a seamless data fabric for their education software applications.

Moving to Cloud Volumes ONTAP also gave them much greater control over the management of their Amazon EBS storage, with thin provisioning, data compression, and data deduplication lowering their cloud storage costs.


Cloud computing in education has transformed the classroom experience. NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP allows education institutions and solution providers to reap all the advantages of cloud computing in education, such as scalability and elasticity, while supporting complex infrastructures, containing storage costs, and protecting highly sensitive data from loss or corruption. This boost for educational technology benefits not just institutions and their educational technology applications, but the students they serve.


Faculty Sections / Re: Daffodil Constitution Day Quiz Contest 2019
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:21:22 PM »
Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for sharing.

Faculty Sections / Responsibility of Teachers Versus Parents
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:19:58 PM »
Responsibility of Teachers Versus Parents

Ready to have the ENERGY to be the best mom you can be? Get started! Thanks for stopping by!
The lines between what is the responsibility of teachers and parents are blurred today. Children are being essentially raised by teachers. In child care the caregivers are called “teachers” and these are the adults a child in daycare full-time sees most of their days. Beyond that, teachers are receiving students who are not ready to learn.
Teachers are limited in ways parents are not, but teachers are having to act as parents these days.

Parents are busy or just are not teaching the same values that once were learned at home. This causes problems in our schools.
When a child is not ready to learn a classroom suffers.

Teachers are dealing with too much in the classroom. Parents need to teach at home-time spent with children and values taught matter.

I read an article in the October 17, 2011 edition of Fortune magazine entitled, “How Do You Teach Teachers?”  (This is relevant to parenting, so stick with me here.)  The author of the article, David Kaplan, references a professor of education at the University of Michigan named David K. Cohen (author of Teaching and Its Predicaments).  They infer that parenting is the reason for so many problems in the classrooms these days-I agree.

Responsibility of Teachers and Parents

Teachers work with students to impart knowledge and to teach the students the ability to teach others. The teachers’ predicament is that they are being burdened with teaching more than just academics.  They are being required to teach proper behavior, desire to learn, respect, and self control, typical values that used to be learned at home.
Kaplan states that the main road block to teachers being effective is that students “are a product of social and economic forces outside the classroom.”  In other words, every child has a background that begins with their experiences at home, at daycare, or a combo of the two.  Our children take the values we teach into their classrooms. He is saying parenting matters!

‘Society’ (i.e. the media, political officials, ‘talking heads‘ on television, etc.) places the burden of either expanding on a students positive background, or improving upon a negative one, on teachers.  Seems to me that we parents have the power to create a positive ‘background’ for our children so that teachers can teach the basics and not take time away from teaching our child to deal with behaviors of children not ready to learn. (I am not referring to children with learning disabilities such as those inherited genetically.) Teaching our children values begins at home and requires a lot of time.
I believe the power lies within parents, to plant our children in this life to thrive and not become a burden on teachers and society.  Let’s start at home.

Let’s stay empowered as parents to take on the burden of being sure that our children are primed to learn, ready to excel, and able to teach their peers. (Also known as being a ’good example.’)
Cohen is quoted as saying, “[Improving teaching] is more likely to be a long march than a quick fix…” if we are relying on effective teachers.  The author concludes the school-teacher-student situation in this country is “bleak.” Of course it is. Our familial priorities are out of balance. Children are treated as a part time focus rather than a full time job.
I don’t think it has to be this way: if we are empowered to raise our children to love learning, and we can empower other parents to do so whether through our example, or direct conversations, parents will eliminate the burden on teachers because, we, the parents, will take on the burden ourselves.
We stay-at-home moms are home, devoted, teaching these values. We correct the bad behavior when we see it…not hours later. We address the needs and set the example.
The extra time spent with our children from the time they are born, can only help those of us who are trying to be proactive positive examples. Being a stay-at-home mom can help make our parenting actions more clear and more effective reducing the burden on teachers when and if our children enter their classrooms.
The responsibility of teachers and parents is different, and we parents need to remember that.


Faculty Sections / The Relationship Between Teaching and Research
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:13:56 PM »
The Relationship Between Teaching and Research

I remember applying for NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship many years ago and being asked to answer a question describing my experiences “integrating research and education”.  At the time, I was baffled by the question, as I hadn’t yet done much teaching.  I thought: Aren’t teaching and research orthogonal?  I’m told by current students that the question no longer exists in the fellowship application, which I think is unfortunate.  That question has stayed with me throughout my career: I regularly re-ask myself questions about integrating research and education.

At least in the United States (and presumably elsewhere, too), university researchers are regularly asked to tie our research back to education: for example, faculty members are regularly asked to describe the “broader impact” of their research, which includes how the results of the research will be incorporated into the curriculum.  I’ve learned that this is no accident; to the contrary, I think it is one of the most important (and under-appreciated) things that researchers should be thinking about.

Although researchers are sometimes asked to think about how research can be integrated in the classroom, I’ve also found that efforts in the classroom can also ultimately result in better research.  In fact, although many educators are not necessarily researchers, the converse is undeniable: It is no accident that some of the best researchers are also excellent teachers.  And, while some strong researchers who are not good teachers do exist, I believe that purposeful teaching effort does in fact result in much better research.

In this post, I’ll describe my views on the relationships between research and teaching, in both directions.  I’ll begin with the more “obvious” notions of how our research ultimately affects education and the curriculum and continue to what I think is the less apparent (and more interesting) direction of how our work on education can also make us better researchers.  Of course, teaching also helps us develop many “general purpose” skills that are also useful in research, including mentoring and supervisory skills, learning to analyze others’ understanding, learning to give feedback, and so forth.  Below, I’ll eschew these practicalities and instead focus on how the relationship between research and education ultimately result in better research ideas.

How Research Affects Teaching
Research results instill fresh material in the classroom.  Although some subjects we learn in the classroom are fairly well-established, many areas of computer science (and I would assume certain other fields, too) are rapidly evolving.  With the rise of large content and service providers such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook; the proliferation of mobile devices; and the spread of connectivity to developing regions (to name a few developments), computer networking looks almost nothing like twenty years ago, and, while certain principles persist, the constraints of the domain and the applications of the technologies are continually evolving. Students strive for concrete examples and applications of concepts to the world that they know which is, incidentally, different from the world we knew when we were students.  New research results represent prevailing theories, the outcome of our cumulative understanding, and the application of concepts to the most relevant problem domains or our time.  I find that there is no better way to keep my course material current than to peruse the latest research and update the material so that it reflects current understanding.

Industry tracks research; students should, too.  Our understanding continues to evolve as new research results emerge.  In many areas, industry aggressively tracks new technologies and research results, and students aim will be more poised to make important contributions in industry if they are well-versed in current technologies.  Students periodically thank me for covering a certain topic or concept in the classroom because “someone asked me about it in a job interview”.  Certainly, there is a balance between educating our students on the big picture and “timeless” concepts (something I discuss more below), but I find that students are often quite grateful for having some exposure to the concepts and problems that industry is thinking about today.  Instilling course material with fresh research results is one important way that instructors can help this process.

How Teaching Affects Research

I think the more surprising notion is that investing effort in teaching well can actually make us better researchers.  I sometimes find that certain faculty members are too eager to minimize teaching responsibilities in favor of “leaving more time to get research done”.  Now, it is worth acknowledging the source of this angst: many of the administrative aspects of teaching (e.g., grading, responding to student emails, organizational logistics) are incredibly time consuming and do not necessarily offer inherent benefits to research.  Nevertheless, I find that the intellectual aspects of teaching are an indispensable aspect of my own efforts to become a better researcher.  Below, I’ll explain more abstractly why I think teaching makes us better researchers, and, where appropriate, I’ll describe some of my own concrete experiences in this regard.

To create new knowledge, we must first master the existing body of knowledge. Research is the process of creating new knowledge.  Making  progress in creating knowledge requires a significant amount of background knowledge, before one can reach the “frontier” of a topic, where the interesting questions are.  Herb Simon once attested that it takes about ten years of experience to get to the point of great accomplishment in any one area, simply because it takes a significant amount of time to accumulate knowledge in an area.  This necessarily implies that we can’t become great researchers in a subject area merely by taking a class (or even a few classes); we must embed ourselves in that topic area.  I find that teaching a subject is perhaps one of the most efficient ways to become embedded in a subject matter, since the process of explaining concepts to students leaves no room for “cutting corners” in my own understanding.  The process of building understanding in a particular area allows us to develop a deep understanding the paradigms and theories that currently exist, and how those paradigms and the existing knowledge base might be extended (or amended).  Teaching Ph.D. students about a particular subject matter is also a way to bootstrap research, by helping our students get to the frontier of knowledge more quickly than they otherwise would; I sometimes teach seminars on cutting-edge topics (above and beyond my teaching “requirements”) simply because I find the process to be an efficient way of helping students quickly ramp up on a topic where I would like to see more research happening.

On a personal note, I found the process of preparing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Software Defined Networking over the past summer tremendously helpful in solidifying my own knowledge in this budding topic area.  This particular sub-field has seen rapid developments over the past five years, and I had found it difficult to take the time to deeply understand many of the latest developments.  I found that teaching the course was a wonderful “forcing function” to familiarize myself with new technologies and ways of thinking, and to gain hands-on experience with tools that had been recently developed.  My hands-on experience with development tools helped me in two ways: First, I was able to suggest better tools for my students to use in their own research; in several cases, students who had been “stuck” using older technologies quickly familiarized themselves with technologies I learned well enough to appreciate.  By investing time to deeply understand how new techniques and technologies might be applied, I was able to make connections between problems we had been trying to solve in the research lab and tools that could be useful for solving them.  Second, I was able to make connections between concepts that had recently been developed to help solve some problems that we had been working on that hadn’t yet been solved.   In one case, for example, as I taught concepts about composition techniques for network policies, I realized that the techniques could be applied to help some of our own technologies scale to much larger networks, which provided a breakthrough on a problem that we had been thinking about for years.

In the process of explaining an existing phenomenon, you might discover that existing explanations, technologies, or theories don’t actually suffice. According to Thomas Kuhn, research breakthroughs often occur when old paradigms are discarded (or at least amended), thus changing our way of thinking about problems completely.  New paradigms begin with the need to explain or treat facts or situations that existing paradigms don’t handle well.   As instructors, when we attempt to explain various facts or situations to students, we sometimes find that we can’t explain why things are a certain way—our attempts to explain may reveal instances that are not handled or explained well by current paradigms, thus exposing glaring needs to develop new technologies, theories, and paradigms.

I remember my experiences as a teaching assistant for computer networking, as my advisor and I planned lessons to teach Internet routing.  My advisor had long worked on problems where correctness properties and bound were well-defined (e.g., Internet congestion control).  When we came to the topic of Internet routing, however (a topic on which I had some mastery as a result of a summer internship), I found him continually asking me how (or whether) Internet routing offered any guarantees of correct behavior.  How could we be certain that Internet routing algorithms would actually send traffic where it was supposed to go, for example?  We realized in our attempts to codify this in lecture material that no such guarantees existed!  Frustrated by our inability to explain Internet routing correctness, we spent the next several years formally defining correctness properties for Internet routing and developing tools that checked Internet routing configuration for correctness.  The work eventually resulted in tools that were used by hundreds of network operators and a best paper award at a top networking conference.  When I think about that work, I regularly trace its success to my teaching experience with my advisor, and our initial frustrated attempt to explain some seemingly basic concepts about networking to students.  If it weren’t for that teaching experience, I think that research probably would never have happened.

Teaching encourages us to think about the long road, the big picture, and what “really matters” about a particular research contribution.  I aim to explain why something is the way it is, beyond simply explaining a concept.  As I explained above, efforts to explain why something is the way it is might sometimes fail to produce a good explanation, opening new possibilities for research.  In other cases, research may offer solutions to a problem du jour, but sometimes research projects or papers are fairly self-contained, and it takes additional thought to really establish why (or whether) a particular result has broader implications that a student might care about.  As an instructor, I strive to think about the big picture, and why a student should care about a particular research result, theory, or concept five or ten years down the road, long after they have left our classroom and received their degree.  This exercise of thinking about broader implications can make classroom material more palatable to students, most of whom won’t specialize in the particular field you happen to be teaching.  But, it also forces us as researchers to step back and think about why the problems we are working on have broad impact and why they matter to society at large.  Explaining to a classroom of students why a particular result matters is perhaps one of the most useful exercises for distilling a research contribution to its essence.

Motivated Students + Inspiring Teachers = Great Research

I admired my university professors and wanted to emulate them; they are one of the main reasons I wanted to become a university professor in the first place.  Teachers can influence and affect a large number of students in tremendously positive ways.  Indeed, giving students the thirst for knowledge to the point that they want to not just consume existing knowledge but make discoveries themselves is a unique opportunity that we have as educators.  And, certainly, developing smart young students into the researchers of current and future generations is yet another way that our efforts in the classroom can pay long-term dividends for research.


Faculty Sections / Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:09:55 PM »
Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines

The purpose of this information is to assist students in understanding proper classroom behavior. The classroom should be a learning-centered environment in which faculty and students are unhindered by disruptive behavior. You are a college student and are expected to act in a mature manner and to be respectful of the learning process, your instructor and your fellow students. Faculty members have the authority to manage their classrooms to ensure an environment conducive to learning.

Any person who shall accept the privilege extended by Florida laws of attendance or employment at any state college, state junior college or state university shall by so attending or working at such institution be deemed to have given consent to the policies of the institution, the Board of Trustees and the laws of this state. Such policies shall include prohibition against disruptive activities at state institutions of higher learning.

Take responsibility for your education. There is a common myth among students that because they pay tuition they deserve to receive credit for the class. This is not true. In fact, students pay only a portion of the cost of their education; taxpayers pay the balance. Instructors are here to create a learning environment. Whether you learn depends on your willingness to listen, ask appropriate questions and do the work necessary to pass the course. College courses are rigorous and demanding; you may have to work harder and seek more help in order to succeed.
Attend every class. You will find that students who attend every class, listen to the instructor and take good notes will be more likely to pass (with a higher grade). If you have an emergency or illness, contact your instructor ahead of time to let her or him know that you will be absent. A local study showed that students who missed the first class meeting were more likely later to withdraw or fail. Important note: If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to meet with the instructor, outside of regular class time, to determine a plan to make up the missed work.
Get to class on time. Students who walk into the classroom late distract other students in the learning environment. Check the course syllabus for the professor's attendance policy.
Do not have private conversations. The noise is distracting to other students.
Turn mobile phones off. It is very distracting to hear someone's mobile phone go off in class.
Do not dominate other students' opportunity to learn by asking too many questions. It is good to ask questions and make comments, but if you dominate the class time with too many questions and/or comments, the instructor and other students cannot participate in class discussions. When asking questions and making comments, keep them related to the discussion at hand.
Respect your instructor. Openly challenging the instructor's knowledge or authority in the classroom is not appropriate. If you take issue with the instructor's information or instructional methods, make sure that your comments are made without confrontation or antagonism. You may want to discuss your issues with her or him privately. Instructors' classroom policies, procedures and teaching styles vary: Some instructors, for example, enforce attendance policies vigorously, while others are more lenient about attendance. Assignments and classroom activities are at the prerogative of the instructor. Each instructor has the freedom and authority to set the guidelines and policies for his or her classroom (within the overall policies of the College). Consult the instructor's syllabus for specific information pertinent to each class.
Your classmates deserve your respect and support. Others may have ideas and opinions that differ from yours, or they may struggle to understand information as quickly as their peers. But they deserve the same level of respect from you as you wish to receive from them.
Come to class prepared. Students who forget common classroom supplies (such as a pencil, paper, books, test materials, etc.) usually waste class time. Students who have not completed their assigned homework many times ask questions that could have been answered through their assignments.
Turn in your work on time. It is important to plan ahead. Students who wait until the last minute to do their work usually make lower grades and are more likely to miss deadlines. Study and do your assignments every day. Doing so ensures that if a problem occurs at the last minute, such as a computer malfunction, you will still be prepared.
Do not bring children to class. Children in classrooms are distracting to the instructor, other students and you. You need to plan ahead for childcare.


Faculty Sections / Giving Student Feedback: 20 Tips To Do It Right
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:07:18 PM »
Giving Student Feedback: 20 Tips To Do It Right
By Laura Reynolds

Giving student feedback

It seems as if it was yesterday that I was a young middle school student giving a class presentation on the lifespan of the killer whale. While I was prepared, I was also horribly nervous. At the conclusion of my speech I was given verbal student feedback from my teacher–in front of the entire class! Needless to say, it wasn’t glowing. I remember that feedback to this day because it was negative, defeating and very embarrassing.

Despite all of my hard work, my seventh grade teacher ripped my presentation into shreds. I understand now that the teacher was trying to hone my presentation skills, but did he have to do it in front of the entire seventh grade science class? Let’s just say that my speech delivery skills weren’t up to par and because of this experience, I stumbled through many public speeches for a long time afterward. It really is amazing I went on to become a teacher.

As teachers, it is essential that we make the process of providing feedback a positive, or at least a neutral, learning experience for the student.

Unfortunately, many students have similar “educational” experiences like mine everyday. Why is it that some teachers think that giving feedback must be negative and corrective because that is the only way a student will learn? The only thing I learned from my seventh grade experience was that public speaking, no matter how much I prepared, was bound to be a disaster.

As teachers, it is essential that we make the process of providing feedback a positive, or at least a neutral, learning experience for the student.

So what exactly is feedback? Feedback is any response from a teacher in regard to a student’s performance or behavior. It can be verbal, written or gestural. The purpose of feedback in the learning process is to improve a student’s performance- definitely not put a damper on it. The ultimate goal of feedback is to provide students with an “I can do this” attitude.

Sometimes We Have To Dig Deep

When feedback is predominately negative, studies have shown that it can discourage student effort and achievement (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, Dinham). Like my experience, the only thing I knew is that I hated public speaking and I would do anything possible to get out of it. As a teacher, most of the time it is easy to give encouraging, positive feedback.

However, it is in the other times that we have to dig deep to find an appropriate feedback response that will not discourage a student’s learning. This is where the good teachers, the ones students remember forever in a positive light, separate themselves from the others.

A teacher has the distinct responsibility to nurture a student’s learning and to provide feedback in such a manner that the student does not leave the classroom feeling defeated. Here you will find 20 ideas and techniques on how to give effective feedback that will leave your students with the feeling they can conquer the world.

20 Ways to Provide Effective Student Feedback

1. Student feedback should be educative in nature.

Providing feedback means giving students an explanation of what they are doing correctly AND incorrectly. However, the focus of the feedback should be based essentially on what the students is doing right. It is most productive to a student’s learning when they are provided with an explanation and example as to what is accurate and inaccurate about their work.

Use the concept of a “feedback sandwich” to guide your feedback: Compliment, Correct, Compliment.

2. Student feedback should be given in a timely manner.

When student feedback is given immediately after showing proof of learning, the student responds positively and remembers the experience about what is being learned in a confident manner. If we wait too long to give feedback, the moment is lost and the student might not connect the feedback with the action.

3. Be sensitive to the individual needs of the student.

It is vital that we take into consideration each individual when giving student feedback. Our classrooms are full of diverse learners. Some students need to be nudged to achieve at a higher level and other needs to be handled very gently so as not to discourage learning and damage self-esteem. A balance between not wanting to hurt a student’s feelings and providing proper encouragement is essential.

4. Ask the 4 questions.

Studies of effective teaching and learning (Dinham, 2002, 2007a; 2007b) have shown that learners want to know where they stand in regards to their work. Providing answers to the following four questions on a regular basis will help provide quality student feedback. These four questions are also helpful when providing feedback to parents:

What can the student do?
What can’t the student do?
How does the student’s work compare with that of others?
How can the student do better?
5. Student feedback should reference a skill or specific knowledge.

This is when rubrics become a useful tool. A rubric is an instrument to communicate expectations for an assignment. Effective rubrics provide students with very specific information about their performance, comparative to an established range of standards. For younger students, try highlighting rubric items that the student is meeting or try using a sticker chart.

6. Give feedback to keep students “on target” for achievement.

Regular ‘check-ins’ with students lets them know where they stand in the classroom and with you. Utilize the ‘4 questions’ to guide your feedback.

7. Host a one-on-one conference.

Providing a one-on-one meeting with a student is one of the most effective means of providing feedback. The student will look forward to having the attention and allows the opportunity to ask necessary questions. A one-on-one conference should be generally optimistic, as this will encourage the student to look forward to the next meeting.

As with all aspects of teaching, this strategy requires good time management. Try meeting with a student while the other students are working independently. Time the meetings so that they last no longer than 10 minutes.

8. Student feedback can be given verbally, non-verbally or in written form.

Be sure to keep your frowns in check. It is imperative that we examine our non-verbal cues. Facial expressions and gestures are also means of delivering feedback. This means that when you hand back that English paper, it is best not to scowl.

9. Concentrate on one ability.

It makes a far greater impact on the student when only one skill is critiqued versus the entire paper being the focus of everything that is wrong. For example, when I taught Writer’s Workshop at the elementary level, I would let students know that for that day I was going to be checking on the indentation of paragraphs within their writing. When I conferenced with a student, that was my focus instead of all the other aspects of their writing. The next day would feature a new focus.

10. Alternate due dates for your students/classes.

Utilize this strategy when grading papers or tests. This strategy allows you the necessary time to provide quality, written feedback. This can also include using a rotation chart for students to conference with at a deeper more meaningful level. Students will also know when it is their turn to meet with you and are more likely to bring questions of their own to the conference.

11. Educate students on how to give feedback to each other.

Model for students what appropriate feedback looks like and sounds like. As an elementary teacher, we call this ‘peer conferencing’. Train students to give each other constructive feedback in a way that is positive and helpful. Encourage students to use post-it notes to record the given feedback.

12. Ask another adult to give student feedback.

The principal at the school I taught at would often volunteer to grade history tests or read student’s writing pieces. You can imagine how the student’s quality of work increased tenfold! If the principal is too busy (and most are), invite a ‘guest’ teacher or student teacher to critique work.

13. Have the student take notes.

During a conference over a test, paper or a general ‘check in’, have the student do the writing while you do the talking. The student can use a notebook to jot down notes as you provide the verbal feedback.

14. Use a notebook to keep track of student progress.

Keep a section of a notebook for each student. Write daily or weekly, dated comments about each student as necessary. Keep track of good questions the student asks, behavior issues, areas for improvement, test scores etc. Of course this requires a lot of essential time management but when it is time to conference with a student or parent, you are ready to go.

15. Return tests, papers or comment cards at the beginning of class.

Returning papers and tests at the beginning of class, rather than at the end, allows students to ask necessary questions and to hold a relevant discussion.

16. Use Post-It notes.

Sometimes seeing a comment written out is more effective than just hearing it aloud. During independent work time, try writing feedback comments on a post-it note. Place the note on the student’s desk the feedback is meant for. One of my former students had a difficult time staying on task but he would get frustrated and embarrassed when I called him out on his inattentive behaviors in front of the class.

He would then shut down and refused to do any work because he was mad that I humiliated him. I resorted to using post-it notes to point out when he was on task or not. Although it was not the most effective use of my time, it really worked for him.

17. Give genuine praise.

Students are quick to figure out which teachers use meaningless praise to win approval. If you are constantly telling your students “Good Job” or “Nice Work” then, over time, these words become meaningless. Make a big deal out of a student’s A+ on that vocabulary test. If you are thrilled with a student’s recent on-task behaviors, go above and beyond with the encouragement and praise.

Make a phone call home to let mom or dad know how thrilled you are with the student’s behavior. Comments and suggestions within genuine student feedback should also be ‘focused, practical and based on an assessment of what the student can do and is capable of achieving’ (Dinham).

18. “I noticed….”

Make an effort to notice a student’s behavior or effort at a task. For example; “I noticed when you regrouped correctly in the hundreds column, you got the problem right.” “I noticed you arrived on time to class this entire week.” Acknowledging a student and the efforts they are making goes a long way to positively influence academic performance.

19. Provide a model or example.

Communicate with your students the purpose for an assessment and/or student feedback. Demonstrate to students what you are looking for by giving them an example of what an A+ paper looks like. Provide a contrast of what a C- paper looks like. This is especially important at the upper learning levels.

20. Invite students to give YOU feedback.

Remember when you finished a class in college and you were given the chance to ‘grade’ the professor? How nice was it to finally tell the professor that the reading material was so incredibly boring without worrying about it affecting your grade? Why not let students give you feedback on how you are doing as a teacher?

Make it so that they can do it anonymously. What did they like about your class? What didn’t they like? If they were teaching the class, what would they do differently? What did they learn the most from you as a teacher? If we are open to it, we will quickly learn a few things about ourselves as educators. Remember that feedback goes both ways and as teachers it is wise to never stop improving and honing our skills as teachers.


« on: October 21, 2019, 06:02:29 PM »
Find the file on testing and evaluating in English Language Teaching.

ELT / Re: Grammar, its history & development
« on: October 20, 2019, 02:20:04 PM »
Thank you very much. That was very informative.

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