Evaluating Digital Feedback in Primary Maths
Of all possible teacher influences on pupil achievement, teacher feedback is among the most powerful. At the same time, there is great variability in the effect sizes reported in studies examining the impact of feedback, indicating that some forms of feedback are more effective than others.
These studies suggest that computer-assisted feedback or feedback provided in the form of video or audio are among the most effective. Interventions such as the one developed by the Kyra Teaching School Alliance – a partnership of schools in Lincolnshire – which seek to maximise the impact of teachers’ feedback on pupils’ outcome with the use of video thus hold particularly high potential for impact.
The intervention aims to improve teachers’ diagnostic and feedback skills when teaching maths in primary schools. It involves a diagnostic tool which teachers can use to assess their pupils’ understanding of a topic, and an app that allows teachers to provide pupils with digitally-recorded feedback on a tablet, rather than written feedback. Pupils will have the opportunity to review their feedback and develop their work further. The anticipation is that the video feedback will be more relevant and of higher quality than written feedback and will thereby improve pupil outcomes.
RAND Europe was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to conduct an efficiency trial of Kyra’s digital teacher feedback intervention.
This trial will be accompanied by a theory-driven process evaluation to map and understand the causal pathway from intervention to pupil outcomes. The process evaluation will assess whether the steps underlying the intervention are implemented to a sufficient standard and whether the assumptions on which the intervention is based hold.
The project team will undertake a two-armed randomised controlled trial (treatment and control) focusing on mathematics in approximately 60 primary schools (Years 4 and 5). The intervention will take place in each school, but the year group will be randomly assigned to the treatment or control group.
Recruitment of schools will begin in early 2017. The intervention will begin in September 2017. Outcomes will be assessed at the end of the school year in June 2018. The trial protocol and other details can be found on the Education Endowment Foundation project page. The evaluation report will be published in the Spring 2019.