Challenging Learning Through Feedback

How to Get the Type, Tone and Quality of Feedback Right Every Time

James Nottingham, Jill Nottingham (2017)

“Finally – a practical book on feedback for teachers! The Nottinghams cut through the hype and misinformation and bring teachers a valuable tool they will want to revisit often throughout their career. It is written with the teacher in mind, lesson plan in hand, and relevant to all in education. The perfect school-wide book study book!”
Lisa Cebelak, Grand Rapids MI, USA

Highlights of the book include:
  • A detailed and nuanced examination of how feedback works and what you can do to make it more effective for your students
  • The Seven Steps to Feedback – which, if followed, will significantly increase the possibilities for students to gain so much more from feedback
  • An in-depth guide, with lots of worked examples, of the vest ways to clarify and use learning intentions and success criteria
  • Strategies for creating the culture needed to help students reach deep understanding and improved attainment
  • Ways to adapt the use of grading to turn it from a negative effect to a positive effect on student learning
  • A guide to using taxonomies and metacognitive strategies to develop students’ language of learning
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“This book is for anyone who wants to help others get better. I found myself taking notes in chapter after chapter because of the practical advice based on succinct summaries of research and evidence. I could incorporate the ideas in my classes the next day. The authors guide readers to better understand how to move beyond advice and evaluation to feedback that leads to improvement."
Jon Eckert, Associate Professor Wheaton College, Wheaton IL

“This book is for anyone who wants to help others get better. I found myself taking notes in chapter after chapter because of the practical advice based on succinct summaries of research and evidence. I could incorporate the ideas in my classes the next day. The authors guide readers to better understand how to move beyond advice and evaluation to feedback that leads to improvement.”

Jon Eckert, Associate Professor Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

What makes this book different?

Feedback is one of the most significant influences on student learning. Indeed, if you remove the factors that educators have little or no influence over (e.g. students’ background; educational funding; or content of the curriculum), then feedback remains as one of the very best interventions to improve standards, expectations and collective efficacy. That is, if we get it right; unfortunately though, we so rarely do – indeed, one third of feedback has been shown to create negative outcomes!

This book puts all that right and shows teachers, leaders, support staff and parents how to ensure that all students receive, understand and use feedback wisely and effectively.

Book Features

As Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in; but as a rule, the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.”

With that in mind, Challenging Learning Through Feedback has several features to help navigate the book, including:

  • Margin notes with summaries of content and key points
  • Section numbers to support navigation and cross-referencing (they also remain constant – unlike page numbers – when the book is translated into other languages)
  • ‘Now Try This’ sections to guide and support professional learning

Intended Audience

Suitable for teachers, leaders and support staff working with students between the ages of 7-19. For those working with 3-7-year-old children, you would be better reading ‘Challenging Early Learning’ by James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017).


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“Written in an engaging, example-filled, humorous style, this book gives the reader some real practical examples of formative assessment strategies, clarity about learning intentions and success criteria, and the essence of good lesson design. It’s what we have been waiting for to make learning come alive for our teachers in the classroom."
Ainsley B Rose, Consultant, West Kelowna BC, Canada
"This book is a must-have for teachers. It’s easy-to-read and easy-to-implement. Feedback provided at the right time and in the right manner increases student motivation and learning outcome. It is relevant for all grade levels."
Joyce Sager, Reading Teacher for Dyslexic High School Students, Gadsden AL
“This was a thought provoking read and one I will reference over and over again. The authors have created a thorough reference for all teachers working to make their feedback impact learning, not only student learning, but their own. This will be a valuable reference for educators for years to come. I think that this reaches beyond classroom walls and will also help administrators model feedback for teachers and make an impact on the growth of student achievement."
Katina Keener, Elementary Principal, Hayes VA
"James and Jill Nottingham have once again equipped educators with practical applications and examples of how to increase learning to the greatest possible levels. They deliver rich guiding examples for teachers to increase teacher clarity through the development of high-quality learning intentions and success criteria, and show the very best ways to help students receive, understand and apply feedback advice. I highly recommend this book as a bucket-list read for any educator!"
Dave Nagel, Education Consultant and Author, Effective Grading Practices for Secondary Teachers, Indianapolis IN

“Written in an engaging, example-filled, humorous style, this book gives the reader some real practical examples of formative assessment strategies, clarity about learning intentions and success criteria, and the essence of good lesson design. It’s what we have been waiting for to make learning come alive for our teachers in the classroom.”

Ainsley B Rose, Consultant, West Kelowna BC, Canada

“This book is a must-have for teachers. It’s easy-to-read and easy-to-implement. Feedback provided at the right time and in the right manner increases student motivation and learning outcome.  It is relevant for all grade levels.”

Joyce Sager, Reading Teacher for Dyslexic High School Students, Gadsden AL

“This was a thought provoking read and one I will reference over and over again. The authors have created a thorough reference for all teachers working to make their feedback impact learning, not only student learning, but their own. This will be a valuable reference for educators for years to come. I think that this reaches beyond classroom walls and will also help administrators model feedback for teachers and make an impact on the growth of student achievement.”

Katina Keener, Elementary Principal, Hayes VA

“James and Jill Nottingham have once again equipped educators with practical applications and examples of how to increase learning to the greatest possible levels. They deliver rich guiding examples for teachers to increase teacher clarity through the development of high-quality learning intentions and success criteria, and show the very best ways to help students receive, understand and apply feedback advice. I highly recommend this book as a bucket-list read for any educator!”

Dave Nagel, Education Consultant and Author, Effective Grading Practices for Secondary Teachers, Indianapolis, IN

Related Links

James Nottingham Introducing Feedback

The Seven Steps to Feedback

Challenging Learning Interview with John Hattie – Feedback

Improving the Outcomes of Feedback in Denmark

Related Links