The Rules of Online Feedback Teachers Need to Master
Teachers often strive to make the feedback process as positive and constructive as possible. The goal of providing feedback, after all, is to move the student on to the next level of achievement by pointing out strengths and opportunities for growth.
However, with the students’ situation of connecting online to communicate with their educators and peers daily, providing feedback can be far from a straightforward process. Oftentimes, a message in a chat or an email can be misinterpreted. On the other hand, the lack of meaningful feedback can be one of the most significant challenges online participants encounter.
However, with these simple rules, teachers can optimize their feedback efforts:
· Communicate clear expectations from the start – When you have specific guidelines regarding discussion or grading metrics or due dates, students will understand and be completely aware of your expectations, therefore minimizing the possibilities of miscommunication.
· Always make it worthwhile – Students need to acquire value from the instructor’s feedback. The idea behind the feedback is to inspire some change or action while outlining exactly how to move to the next step. As such, every time feedback is given, aiming for a goal-oriented and actionable approach can truly be effective.
· Use audio formats – any time you need to pass on detailed feedback to your students, the audio format can be the best solution. And although you might try to avoid this method due to lack of time, you might be surprised about the difference it makes in how it is received. More than likely, students will feel more engaged and will understand more clearly the real purpose for your comments. Furthermore, they’re more likely to retain the information. Just make sure you have your notes ready and address the student directly.
· Always take the time – Although many teachers will comment that the classroom time is limited, remember that not allotting time for feedback can only result in educational issues or learning gaps. Many studies are showing that more feedback is crucial for achieving better results and learning.
Technology Facilitates Fast Feedback
Another factor to keep in mind is that teachers have many resources to choose from in regard to communicating with students and providing feedback on assignments and assessments in a timely manner.
For instance, Google Classroom possesses features that allow for both verbal and written communication. Here are a few tips for utilizing this app for providing feedback to students:
· Use the commenting feature in Suggestion Mode in Docs to give guidance before an essay is turned in
· Allow the students to use Docs or Form to comment on each other’s work or to participate in a discussion with you and the class
· If the class appears to be struggling with a project, schedule a meeting in Google Meet to address questions as soon as possible. The link can be emailed to them.
To achieve this goal, all you need to choose is the format – although the audio format is a great way, follow your preferred option and stay consistent. In this way, you’ll give the students the important information that they need.