What is the most effective way of teaching

Top 7 feedback methods for teaching


What feedback methods are there?

All you need for this method is your hands. With the five-finger method, each participant draws on their own hand. Each finger stands for the answer to a feedback question:

  • Thumb: What was great?
  • Index finger: what did I learn?
  • Middle finger: what can be improved?
  • Ring finger: What do I take with me (positive and negative)?
  • little finger: what came up short?
  • Palm: What else do I want to say / What do I want? / More suggestions?

The five-finger feedback method offers an alternative to feedback questionnaires. All participants can vividly express criticism in a negative and positive sense. Due to the limited space, the students are forced to be brief and brief.

2. Open evaluation poster

At the end of the lesson, the topic, etc., a poster is hung next to the door of the classroom. The poster gives the students the opportunity to give a rating shortly before leaving the room. To do this, put a cross on a scale from “++” to “- -” and, if desired, you can add comments under the points “What did I like?” "What would I have wished for differently? / What do I wish for the next time?" write.

If you notice that especially negative feedback is piling up, you should take up the feedback again at the beginning of the next lesson and ask in writing (anonymously) or verbally for ideas and suggestions for improvement.

3. Target

With the target method, 6 to 8 topics and practice areas are given, which are evaluated with the help of points drawn in. The assessment aspects are arranged as fields above the target as headings for the respective circle segments.

A specific color is assigned to each field. There are 4 to 5 evaluation levels within the target, which are represented with the help of inner circles. The evaluation levels are deliberately kept open. 1 is the best and 4 or 5 the worst.

When giving feedback, the positive or negative quality of the experience of the students counts. The closer a point is drawn to the center of the circle, the more positive the evaluation within the sub-area. The points are drawn in according to the color of the field they represent. Then all points are connected with a different colored pen. The subsequent picture review shows where the difficulties lie and what the average teaching quality looks like. if there is a close circle, close to the center, the lessons are very good. If a part of the area swings out of the circle, work should be carried out on this.

4. Four corners method

Four different posters with different opinions and / or feedback points are hung in the four corners of the classroom. The pupils assign themselves to the poster on which they see the greatest agreement with their point of view or feel interested in discussion. Within the groups formed in this way, arguments and experiences are exchanged. After about 5–10 minutes, a student from the group will present the most important points.

5. Feedback questionnaire

A student questionnaire to get feedback is by far the best-known evaluation method. At the end of the lesson or lesson, the students are given a questionnaire, which the students answer as anonymously as possible. Here you can ask very specific questions, which the students will answer using a scale (e.g. the grading scale 1–6 or using different smilies).

Questions can be, for example: "The class was focused today, I was able to study undisturbed." or “I get along well with my classmates”. The assessment sheet may also contain some open-ended questions that your students can give specific information on. It is important that the questionnaire is not too long overall and that there is not too much time lost from the actual lessons. It is then recommended to discuss the feedback results with the class in order to clear up any questions.

6. Wool thread method

A normal wool thread is enough to get feedback. There are two different ways in which feedback can be obtained with the help of a woolen thread. The first method is mainly used to look back on a longer series of lessons or an internship. The second method can be used very well e.g. B. can be used as an evaluation of a lesson. Both methods require open feedback, i.e. an open exchange in the plenary.
First you form a circle of chairs and give each student a piece of wool. The students should use the wool thread to record their feelings and impressions during the class, the internship, etc. The resulting pattern reflects the overall impression of the students. If all students have their woolen thread in front of them, you will be asked one after the other to explain why you laid the thread this way or what the pattern means. For example, if the thread is flat at the front and high at the back, this can mean that it became more and more interesting and more fun in the long run, was there a wave, there were possibly drastic ups and downs, or the thread was crisscrossed then maybe something was incomprehensible to the student or there was a big mess.

7. Crosshair

With two long threads or alternatively a masking tape, a crosshair is placed / glued onto the floor. Two evaluation criteria, e.g. “Climate: friendly - tense” or “Satisfaction: high - low”, are written on cards and assigned to a field. The students show their evaluation by standing on the individual fields.


Appropriate teaching materials on the subject of feedback



* For better readability, we use the neutral form of the terms teacher and student in this article, but address both teachers and students.

Source: KMK teaching diagnostics, © A. Helmke