Extract 2: Transcript extract for Example 105 2

Example 105: P06

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDMAnYt7BKA (07:50)

Task: Here are some pictures of things that can make living in a city enjoyable. Talk to each other about (a) how these things can help people to enjoy life in a city, then (b) decide which two things you think are the most important.

  • 1. P: Uh ok Nektaria, uhm how do you think that these
  • 2. things help people to enjoy life in the city? ((looks at N))
  • 3. N: ((pause)) ((makes momentary eye contact with
  • P) )
  • 4. ((Whispering)) Yes. ((Normal volume)) Uh yes Panagiota I think
  • 5. Ehhhhh ehhhhh these things help people to enjoy life in the
  • 6. city because ehhhhh ehhhhh mmmmm ((pause)) eh because ehhh
  • 7. ehhh because ehm they have a free time from a difficult uh
  • 8. time in the city?
  • (Lam, 2019, Appendix 1 - Worked Examples 103-105, pp. 2-3)

Principle IV. Relate to success criteria: The very purpose of using worked examples in the feedback process is ro facilitate or enhance learners’ understanding of the success criteria - in this case, the IC features - through illustrating them in context. According to Carless and Boud (2018), analyzing exemplars, as an activity to develop feedback literacy, has a certain appeal to learners, as they tend to consider exemplars “more accessible illustrations of quality” than assessment criteria, something they often find “too dense and abstract” (p. 1317). The worked examples include extracts of candidates’ performances that satisfy (or do not satisfy) the success criteria, allowing learners to see for themselves what happens before or after a particular turn in the interaction. The example in Extract 2 illustrates the IC feature category (1.1) starting the discussion, and more specifically, “Don’t start in a way that is difficult for the partner to contribute.” When given this feedback, while some learners might be able to relate it to their own task performance, others might be perplexed as to what it means exactly (what way, what difficulty?). Extract 2 shows how P begins the discussion by repeating the question in the task prompt almost verbatim, which proves to be too general a question and poses difficulty for the partner (N). Here, the learner’s attention is drawn to the evidence in the next turn: the partner’s stilted response, with considerable hesitation and having to repeat the question to buy time to think of her answer. Therefore, the feedback suggestion (also a success criterion), which may appear too abstract for some learners, is now made more “tangible” through an illustrating example. Using these publicly available exemplars to illustrate success criteria might also have an advantage in the “managing affect” dimension (Carless & Boud, 2018). For some learners, a level of detachment from their own performance may make feedback involving criticisms more amicable and easier to digest, as compared to having their own performances exposed and scrutinized. Following the transcript (Extract 2) and guiding questions (Extract 3), the “lesson learned” narrative (Extract 4) consolidates learners’ knowledge of the success criteria through summarizing the examples discussed and highlighting key points learned about the IC feature, bridging the “concrete” to the “abstract.”

Extract 3: Guiding questions for Example 105

  • • How does P start the discussion?
  • • What do you notice about the question P has asked? (Hint: compare with the task question)
  • • Is it a good way to invite your partner into the discussion?
  • • What evidence do we have for this? (Hint: look at N’s response)
  • (Lam, 2019, Appendix 1 - Worked Examples 103-105, p. 3)

Principle V. Engage the learner in a proactive role: For the IC feature in Example 105 (Extract 2), a conventional way for the teacher to give feedback to learners in a classroom assessment context would be to say directly, “Don’t start the discussion in a way that makes it difficult for the partner to contribute.” However, even if the learners do understand the feedback, this engages them in a more passive role and superficial processing of the feedback information, akin to supplying the correct grammatical form or deleting an extraneous -s in a learner’s writing. The worked examples are designed and structured to facilitate a more heuristic type of learning activity,5 where the IC features in focus are concealed at the beginning but discovered by working through the guiding questions. The activity engages learners as analysts and assessors. As shown in Extract 3, the set of guiding questions following the transcript extract aim to scaffold the learners to notice the relevant IC feature(s) themselves (e.g., “What do you notice about the question P has asked?”; “Is it a good way to invite your partner ...?”). Moreover, two frequently asked questions on the worksheets are:

  • What evidence do we have for this?
  • If you were the examiner, how would you evaluate his/her performance?

Thus, the learners are first directed to notice the feature, and then reflect on the feature, drawing on evidence from the co-participant’s next turn as the interactional consequence of the feature. Such questions afford learners opportunities to practice evaluating the task performances and supporting their judgment with evidence in the candidate discourse (i.e., “making judgments” in Carless & Boud’s framework). Similar to providing feedback to others, analyzing exemplars engages learners in “higher-order processes, such as application of criteria, diagnosing problems and suggesting solutions (Nicol et al., 2014)” (Carless & Boud, 2018, p. 1319). It is perhaps not a coincidence that this type of activity suggested for learners here is analogous to a training activity for speaking-test raters, where their connoisseurship in evaluating candidates’ performance is developed through bridging performance exemplars to descriptors of different score levels.

Extract 4: Lesson learned narrative following Example 105 (excerpt)

In Example 105, P starts the discussion by almost repeating the task question word-for-word. From N’s response, we can see how this way of starting the discussion makes it difficult for the partner to contribute.

So, we have learned how to start by inviting the partner into the discussion and by negotiating how/where to start. It is also important to start in a way that addresses the task question and is easy for the partner to contribute. We have also learned how to notice good and not-so-good ways of doing the discussion through looking at how the partners respond.

(Lam, 2019, Appendix 1 - Worked Examples 103-105, p. 3)

Principle VI. Promote self-regulated learning: Overall, the worked examples, and the associated activity of analyzing exemplars, work to promote self-regulated learning through equipping learners with the necessary knowledge - illustrating the success criteria (IC features) with examples and in context - and skill in forming judgments of performance quality. Furthermore, the materials and activity cultivate a more proactive attitude among learners by engaging them as analysts and examiners. The benefit of training learners in making judgments, according to Carless and Boud (2018), is twofold: “[ljearners are more likely to change what they do only when they have formed their own judgments that this is necessary” (p. 1317); and, in the longer term, they may “reducje] their reliance on teachers to inform them about their progress” (p. 1322). Both the IC checklist and the worked examples can also be used as self-access resources - the concise IC checklist can be utilized in self- or peer-assessment, whereas the worked examples resource bank can be used for discovery learning activities in independent study.

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