We all know how meaningful it feels to get thanked for our efforts and receive good feedback. In the best case it gives the kind of boost that makes you want to stretch that extra mile when you really thought that you couldn't possibly do any better.
Positive feedback builds self efficacy
Feedback is important in our working lives and personal lives, and this is not anyhow different when it comes to school and learning. Giving constructive feedback is an important factor when we are trying to affect the students' learning motivation, and improve their self efficacy. Noticing what’s positive and reinforcing those things applies also to feedback giving in learning games.
In our normal classroom settings it's difficult to notice everyone. In the worst case, the only feedback a student receives is through tests and grades. So it's not hard to understand that when you give recognition, or just notice a student more, it really can take them forward.
Feedback can carry students forward
In learning games, you have a possibility to reward each player for their efforts by making their learning paths visible. Just marking the progress visually helps bring meaning to the students' efforts inside your game.
Inside a Seppo-game, the completed exercises turn green. This marks a job completed. When it's also followed up with a thumbs up in the form of feedback, this starts to have real meaning.
You can quite easily give feedback for every answer that your students send you in a game. This may not seem so important, but it really is. Feedback, especially positive feedback guides your learners forward and reinforces their positive beliefs about their abilities, their self efficacy. And that is important for learning.
Guidelines for constructive feedback
All feedback doesn’t have to be positive. But in general, when you're teaching with games, the overall setting should be positive. Games and fear of failing really don't suit togehter. So if there is even a hint of effort in the players' answer, make sure you let them know you noticed. You can also do this in the automatically graded exercises.
Good constructive feedback should be genuine. You should really listen, read or hear the given answer. Your feedback should also be about the topic, and not persona. When you want to add to the given answer in a constructive way, your feedback should include a wish and / or example. Feedback is also a way to instruct the players further.
You can make conclusions, ask further questions or make something visible in regards to the topic and learning process.
Even though feedback should always be answer specific, sometimes it's enough to just notice the student. In your games, you can even just use phrases like:
‘Well done. You noticed a lot of perspectives!’
‘Good try! Nice points, even though you might need to look further into this topic.’
If you have good tips on feedback giving inside your learning games, leave a commend below and share them to others as well.