Whether it is solving a story problem or writing an essay on child development, every piece of work in the classroom is done intentionally, most often towards a specific learning goal. Providing feedback effectively ensures that students are clear about the learning goals they are working towards while modeling how they can apply feedback before, during, and after they complete their work. By creating a culture of growth and learning, feedback becomes part of a process of continuous growth and progress instead of a means to an end.

The learning sciences’ self-determination theory asserts that an individual’s behavior in an environment is influenced by their feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These are essential elements of successful formative feedback. Moreover, the aspect of timing is especially relevant for teachers to use self-determination as a framework for providing timely, relevant, and actionable feedback to learners. Feedback that is provided before, during, and after a task holds all the hallmarks of self-determination theory by fostering the choice, collaboration, and communication necessary to ensure students feel autonomous, competent, and a sense of relatedness as they work to achieve learning goals.

Read the full article about how continuous feedback fosters learning by Lindsay Portnoy at Getting Smart.