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Effective feedback: Research and record

Written By: Kieran Briggs
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What’s the idea?

Research and record is a type of active feedback that involves students improving the quality of their work by including wider references and/or insight gained through further research.

 

What does it mean?

Research and record involves encouraging students to develop the scope of their ideas and insight using independent research. This intentionally exposes them to more insights and critical thinking around the subject in question.

What are the implications for teachers?

Students who are used to being guided through information may find independent research challenging initially. Support them by teaching the process explicitly, using examples and modelling. The key is to spark their imagination; research should be a process of wider thought and discovery, not merely fact-seeking.

Avoid search engines where possible and show students, especially older ones, where they can find high-quality, academic reading around your subject. Try providing extracts yourself or showing students how they can source them.

In sociology or science-based subjects, for example, it may be useful to show students extracts from journals or research papers; or in English, critical analysis (such as feminist or postmodernist perspectives) can be introduced to widen thinking about a particular text. In primary teaching, you could signpost children to additional (age-appropriate) research and give them questions or a framework to guide their work.

You could try asking students to formalise the process by keeping a research log or journal to record the independent reading they have undertaken, as well as reflections on how this has informed their thinking on topics.

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