Do provide feedback that is action-oriented and tells student what they should do with the feedback information. Don't focus exclusively on the cognitive component of learning without considering the impact of feedback on students’ motivation in the online classroom.
When it comes to feedback, students in online classes are at a disadvantage when compared with their peers in face-to-face classrooms. Online students cannot glance around the room to see whether others look confused or frustrated, and instructors similarly cannot scan the classroom to determine whether students look lost. That information is simply harder, although not impossible, to glean in online classrooms. Instructors have to be more deliberate about gauging the class and making necessary adjustments.
Fortunately, new tools and strategies are constantly emerging to help instructors. When you improve the quality of your feedback and the efficiency with which you prepare and deliver it, you will quickly discover how good feedback enhances learning and how more available time enables you to explore other productive learning activities.
Dos and Don’ts for providing effective and efficient feedback in the online classroom:
Nature of Feedback
Provide critical feedback that doesn’t provide user-friendly information to correct errors.
Provide feedback that is action-oriented and tells student what they should do with the feedback information.
Focus exclusively on the cognitive component of learning without considering the impact of feedback on students’ motivation in the online classroom.
Provide feedback that targets the affective, behavioral and cognitive aspects of learning.
Delay feedback to the point that students do not have an opportunity to integrate the feedback in a formative manner.
Provide feedback in a timely, consistent manner.
Begin online teaching activities with administrative tasks; begin teaching activities with tasks most likely to impact student learning.
Prioritize teaching tasks to focus on those with the most impact.
Waste mental energy in the online classroom without a clear list of what needs to be accomplished.
Create a daily checklist to guide teaching tasks.
Fail to plan your teaching time.
Follow a teaching schedule that ensures adequate time is dedicated to all teaching tasks.
Spend more time on an activity than you have to.
Utilize timers to manage time in the online classroom.
Waste the investment of your time by failing to save feedback that has the potential to impact many.
Save feedback that is used across a number of students.
Spend considerable time saving and organizing feedback that will only be used for a small number of students.
Invest time in creating high-quality repetitive feedback.
Fail to create a system that makes it easy to find and use feedback bank comments in the future.
Organize feedback in a manner that allows for efficient use across students and terms.
Manually manage feedback banks; cut/paste strategies are an inefficient means of utilizing feedback banks.
Integrate technologies to help implement feedback bank comments in an efficient manner.
Fail to consider the use of feedback banks for both individual comments and generalized assignment feedback.
Utilize templates and rubrics to provide a structure for individualized feedback.
Repeatedly integrate the same feedback in response to students’ work without also integrating strategies to prevent the errors from occurring in the first place.
Integrate feedforward strategies to reduce the need for summative feedback.
Rely exclusively on either individual or group feedback.
Utilize a combination of one-to-one and one-to-many feedback approaches.
Assume that students will not benefit from the process of evaluating the work of their peers.
Integrate opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback.
Rely exclusively on text-based feedback.
Explore the use of video, audio or screencast feedback.
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