Doing The 4Ls In School

How do you give feedback?

Developed by Mary Gorman and Ellen Gottesdiener, the 4Ls stands for Liked, Learned, Lacked and Longed For and this is a simple and effective retrospective technique for teams to highlight the positives (liked and learned), as well as the negative (lacked and longed for).

The 4Ls is a brilliant technique for using in class or within staff meetings and it is a hands-on ‘back to basics’ strategy that really works.

The idea is that after someone has given a presentation, performance, demonstration or produced a piece of work, then people comment on it.

What to do:

  1. You need a nice big piece of poster paper split into four areas as follows:
  • Liked – things you really liked. What went better than expected? Emphasise the positive.
  • Learned – things you have learned. What new information do you now know?
  • Lacked –  consider what could be done better.
  • Longed for – something you desired or wished for
  1. Ask those taking part to individually write notes on post-its for each of the L areas.
  2. After everyone has posted their comments, the poster can be dissected section by section, discussed and fed back.

Feeding back is important and the 4Ls can be used to ask the following questions:

  • What stands out for you as you look at the feedback?
  • What is unexpected?
  • What does this suggest for you as next steps?
  • What can you start doing differently?
  • What can you stop doing that hinders learning/pupil progress?
  • What can you keep doing that is currently helping and making an impact?
  • What is slowing you down?

Retrospectives are a great way for people to continuously improve their way of working.

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