Unit 3: Enhancing Growth Mindset Using Feedback and Assessment


In the previous unit, we explored the different characteristics of growth and fixed mindsets. We were able to compare the two and decide if a certain scenario was of someone portraying growth and fixed mindset qualities. In this current unit, we will be discussing different ways we can use feedback and assessment to enhance growth mindset attitudes and behaviors.


In this section, we will be talking about ways to assess students in a growth mindset encouraging manner. Please watch this following video below:

In the video, it discusses the effects that our feedback has on our students. It talks about the two types of feedback; summative and formative, and how each one affects a students mindset differently. It then provides different ways we can help students have a sense of where they are going and where they need to be to be successful.

There are two types of assessments, summative and formative. Summative assessment is an assessment that is given after the completion of a unit or a course. Formative assessment is an assessment that is given during the course of the instruction. Here is a picture that compares both types of assessments.


In the video, Jo Bowler stated that formative assessment had a greater impact on a students growth mindset. It focuses on their learning and understanding, rather then how they did compared to their classmates. It gives them "a full sense of where they are going and where they need to be to be successful" (Bowler, 2016)


According the Larson and Lockee, feedback is "information provided to learners about the correctness of their responses to practice questions in the instruction." (Larson & Lockee, 2020). Effective feedback is supposed to be:

  1. Clear and meaningful
  2. Designed to support comprehension
  3. Focused on learning outcomes
  4. Designed to help the learner improve

Their are some feedback methods that can hinder a students growth mindset and can begin to instill a fixed mindset attitude, such as:

  1. Praising the student for the grade they received and not the effort they put in
  2. Telling a student that they need to try harder when not being grasping a concept
  3. Telling a student that they shouldn't have made the mistakes they did.

Here is a resource that can guide you in ways to provide feedback to your students, helping instill a growth mindset:

Growth Mindset Feedback Scenarios

Below is a video of a real life scenario of a teacher providing growth mindset feedback for students who are facing difficult learning challenges:

Effort Over Achievement

"Either you have ability or you expend effort. And this is part of the fixed mindset. Effort is for those who don't have ability. People with the fixed mindset tell us, "If you have to work at something, you must not be good at it" (Dweck, 2006)

Before watching the video, I would like for you to reflect on these questions:

  1. How many times have you told yourself that you are not good enough?
  2. Did you give up, or did you keep trying?
  3. What made you keep going?


After watching the video, I would like you to pull out the piece of paper that had the answers of the previous questions asked. I would like you to write your answers down to these questions:

  1. What motivates you?
  2. Do you feel that you are graded or judged more on your effort or your outcome?
  3. Name one thing that you would like your teacher, professor, or someone in your life to change about the way they assess or give you feedback.

When you have completed this unit please go to: Unit 4

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