Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Feed-forward


                                            


I came across the word in a blog post today:

The blogger in question, Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz), used it like this:

I told her to provide me with feedback however she would like, the only rules are, be honest and give me some 'feed-forward'. So off she went with a smile on her face, ready to critically analyse her teacher.

For more on Craig's blog, go here.

It got me to really understand what they mean by feedforward and how different it is from the omnipresent feedback

Feedback diagnoses how well or how poorly someone has achieved a task.

Feedfoward outlines what someone should achieve at the end of the process.


                                           

Still eager to get more insight on the concept, I found this definition in the Business Dictionary (after failed searches in other online dictionaries):


Reverse of a feedback, it is the 'self-fulfilling prophesy' process that turns logical cause-effect relationships upside down.


What it states is that if you act on what you believe will happen, it probably will. It's more than positive thinking, it is putting in place what you envision or imagine. Sounds very cliché nowadays, don't you think?

How does this apply to teaching someone to learn a language or to learning a language by yourself? 

Here are the scenarios:

#1
If I believe I can learn this language, will I get there by putting more time and effort into the procees?

#2
If I tell students exactly what they are going to be able to do before I start a lesson, will they make a more concerted effort to fulfil my prohesy?  

What are some other aspects that need to be considered in each scenario? 

(It might help to understand concepts like cumulative learning.) 


To leave on a humorous note, remember the difference between feedback and feedforward? How would the boss' feedback in the cartoon below transform into feedforward?


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