Systematic, software-supported student feedback in the classroom

“It’s about student participation, co-creating learning, and signaling that as a teacher, I am always a learning person.

Micha Busch, teacher for German and English, Stadteilschule Am Heidberg, Hamburg, Germany

What does feedback mean to you?

Student feedback is an easy way for me to have a conversation with my students – about the time spent together in class and how that time can be used wisely for everyone, if possible. In other words, the question of how we can learn best together. It’s about more than just increasing efficiency. Feedback involves respectful exchange, it’s about student participation, co-creating learning processes, and signaling that as a teacher, I am always a learning person as well. In order to improve my teaching, I therefore also constantly reflect on my own teaching, seek discussions with colleagues, regularly attend training courses and conferences, and follow inspiring debates in the specialist literature and on social networks.

As a teacher, what student feedback has surprised you the most?

It’s often the critical feedback that sticks. For example, when students report back that what happens in class doesn’t reach them or doesn’t interest them. Of course, this feedback hurts at first. But it’s very important, and if you talk about it and take the criticisms seriously, then you can work together to figure out what the lessons should look like so that these students can also benefit from them.

Why did your school choose Edkimo?

I had a good experience with Edkimo as a test user and then introduced the app to my colleagues as part of an annual pedagogical day. After a pilot phase, we as a school then decided to use this tool across the board and to use it as a process support tool.

What challenges did you face in the implementation of Edkimo?

I believe that the colleagues who have always sought feedback had hardly any problems adjusting to this tool. For them, it was first and foremost a relief. The situation is different for teachers who are just discovering feedback as a tool for their teaching development. Here, it is primarily a matter of seeing at which points in the learning process systematic, software-supported feedback can be usefully integrated and how this feedback is then dealt with.

You also use Edkimo for your in-school trainings, could you briefly describe the scenario?

We used Edkimo, for example, to evaluate our Pedagogical Annual Day “Learning in the Digital World” in the form of a partner interview with live feedback and to get valuable hints for further development projects. However, we also use the tool for the further development of the upper school. For example, we use it to conduct teacher, student, and parent surveys on the future of our upper secondary school.

You published the book “55 Web Tools for the Classroom”. How can apps and websites be integrated into the classroom in a meaningful way?

Best in the hands of students, if they work with it creatively and productively. Marc Albrecht-Hermanns recently described this well in a blog post. A while ago, I described the possibilities and challenges of digital technology in schools in more detail in this text.