Gather student feedback in engaging ways - applying Rosenshine's principles

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

Getting feedback from your students is a good way to find out how things are going, and if they understand what you have taught. Hereunder we propose 3 learning techniques to support you in the application of Rosenshine's Principles of Education, while gathering student feedback.

Top 3 learning techniques to apply 👉 when you gather feedback

Which Rosenshine principles are applied in the following three learning techniques?

  • Check for student understanding (principle 6)

The sixth principle may be the most important of the ten, as getting it right allows you to implement the other nine effectively. Take intermittent periods throughout the lesson to stop and assess whether students are understanding the learning material.

  • Engage students in weekly and monthly reviews (principle 10)

The final principle is an extension of the first, but involves spacing out reviews of previous learning over weekly and monthly timeframes. This combination of spacing and retrieval involves the use of retrieval practice techniques on several occasions over time, until a certain level of mastery has been achieved.

1. Formative assessment with the spinner

Random questions asked in a playful way are a perfect way to assess your students formatively. As a variation to assessing students individually, divide your class in pairs, and encourage them to evaluate random questions together.


Energise your students with the LessonUp spinner

The LessonUp’s digital spinner is the perfect interactive tool to carry out a formative assessment at the end of a lesson. Questions are chosen randomly by the spinner, creating an ‘unpredictable’, yet fun and exciting classroom dynamic. 

As a teacher, you decide which questions you want to insert. You can write as many different questions as you like. Students love working with the invigorating and energising spinner.

2. Analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats

There are many ways to evaluate a lesson and reflect on its contents. 

This learning technique is indeed used to evaluate a lesson, but from a different point of view. Students are encouraged to analyse their learning strategies with the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.

Students can answer and discuss the questions in a group setting, but it is probably safer to share these questions with your students privately, especially the first time round. In a second moment, you could use this learning technique during an in-person lesson. Divide your students in pairs, and ask them to question/help each other while working on the SWOT analysis.

It is nice to see how students are very honest in pinpointing their strengths and weaknesses. We have a lot to learn from them.


Open questions to analyse students' learning

To implement this learning technique you can apply two to four open questions. The aim of your questions is to facilitate individual assessment and self-improvement, by helping your students build rich and insightful answers. A useful opening question could be 'What are the strengths/qualities that will help you perform?' Followed by 'Think about a risk/danger related to your strengths/qualities.' 

In a second moment ask your students to answer a question concerning their weaknesses/limitations. Followed by a constructive challenge like 'Think of possible solutions.'

3. The 60-seconds post-it

With the 60-second post-it students are encouraged to fill in a digital post-it. The time limit stimulates students to be selective and write down only the most important things.

This learning technique is often used at the end of a lesson, while revising what has been learnt. However, it can be implemented at any moment. Just as many other types of plenaries, it's a very powerful formative assessment tool, and could be a way of initiating a brainstorm session.


Let students type their answers: they will write more

This learning technique requires an open question, which can be answered anonymously or not. The anonymity in LessonUp is optional.

The question you ask depends on what you want your students to learn. If you decide to use this learning technique as a plenary, it will be something like: 'What have you learnt during this lesson? Write everything that comes to mind.'

As clearly stated, the students have 60 seconds to fill in their post-it. To make the time limit clear and visual, make sure you add a set timer to your lesson.

To conclude...

As a teacher, you are regularly presented with literature concerning broad topics such as education principles and strategies. It often supports and /or validates what you are already doing every day with your students. Sometimes it inspires you to try out and test new learning strategies in the classroom.

A complete digital teaching platform as LessonUp can support you in the implementation of any theory, as you can see within the examples provided in our blog articles. Moreover, you can enrich the presentation of a theory with its practical expression. Theory and practice complement each other. They are raised to the next level with the use of interactive assessment features and strategies that deeply connect with our tech savvy youth, creating bridges between generations.

 Most probably, you have already spotted a couple of techniques that would work perfectly in your class. That’s the magic of it. Feel free to select the ones that better match your students’ needs or preferences, and enjoy working with them!