How Apple Makes Feedback Easy: Debunking A Myth About Teacher Feedback!

When you ask students what type of assessments they like, the word “test” does not rise to the top of the list. What many students will tell you, from my experience, they appreciate feedback. If you think about the real world, we function by feedback.

We create a project or complete a task, we provide feedback, and we revise. 

In fact, try to name a common real world experience where we are given a test and we are never allowed to retake that test. Even with our teacher tests, we take a content test, and if we fail we are given feedback to apply to our inevitable retest.

So, feedback seems to be the secret to our students’ success, and I think few people would disagree with that. So, how can we streamline feedback?

First, let’s dispel a myth about feedback:

You have permission as a teacher to save and reuse feedback.

So many teachers think that feedback must be created in the moment for a student, but as teachers we have so many comments that apply to more than one student. There is nothing wrong with that. We do not have to struggle to rephrase something to make our students feel “good.”

Genuine feedback will always help students.

What we say to one student about grammar, voice, common errors, or style apply to many students. Using a program like numbers, you can type and create a database of feedback, and you can customize your feedback to a student instead of writing it from scratch. It is not cheating!

Easily create your own database of comments in Numbers!

How many times have you written the same comment to more than one student, so… why are you rewriting instead of reusing?

In fact, with numbers, you can not only create an organized database, you can create original rubrics with comments already built in as drop down menus. (See image above) This can work any way you want it, and, even without dropdown menus, you can instantly search for past comments or quotes.

Let’s see how this would work in a single point rubric.

A Single-Point Rubric is an excellent way to create a living progress report for the skills that will be acquired during a long term project, marking period, or even semester. As students complete tasks, you can align them to standards, celebrate and offer constructive feedback, and chart growth over an extended period of time.

Just one of many Single-Point Rubric Samples.In the first column, create a space for suggestions. This could even become a drop down menu. You might place a spot for a rating and/or list your goal or standard for the long term project or marking period. It can be anything from a skill you hope student to develop to a finite task, such as a certain number of homework assignments thoughtfully completed. You might align each expectation to the standard you and your community hope to reinforce in your students. Next, provide a celebration column, which could also turn into a drop down menu as you collect comments. (See image above)

By building your project in Numbers or a similar platform, you can build in dropdown cells that allow you to provide instant feedback, or even provide a scoring column to help students recognize where they are in their growth.

How To Create A Dropdown Menu in Numbers!In your feedback column, select “cell,” and under “Data Format” change the drop down to “Pop-Up Menu.” Now, you will be able to enter comments ahead of time. This will allow you to instantly select common feedback statements. (See image above)

But, lets say you want a more personal approach?

By saving your common feedback in a database, you can use an application like Pages or Notes to create a list of both original comments and comments from your database that you cut and paste. By copying and pasting that list into your preferred AI generator, such as Chat GPT, you can instantly create a letter that is stitched together by AI.

Choose an AI Generator to Create Feedback You Can Customize!Once your letter is generated, you can read through and personalize instead of starting from scratch.

And, one might even argue that by mastering in the art of selecting the “right” words that are personalized to your students, you might end up with a quicker, more consistent, and even personal response for your student. Again, don’t just copy and paste, take some time to personalize, as it will make all the difference. Feedback that once took 20, 30, or 40 minutes to produce, now can be completed in minutes.

So, don’t be afraid to start your comment database using apps such as Numbers, Notes or Pages. You might find that the tests that once defined your students are now replaced by feedback that makes learning meaningful, engaging, and dare I say it…

All Comments

Posted on May 04, 2024

Thanks Anthony for all the detailed tips on using Numbers for feedback - and for the important overview on the “why” and “how” of feedback. Your post is helpful and time saving for all classroom educators!

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