Unit 1 Notes

Providing Feedback

Feedback is essential to learning. It lets people know whether they are mastering the outcomes and indicates whether or not remedial or additional action is required. Feedback can also encourage students to stretch and reach new heights. Feedback is like water or air for online learners; they need it to survive.

Feedback can be inspiring to students. It can assist struggling students who need more encouragement and positive reinforcement. It can also help students better appreciate the specific strategies they need to use to improve their skill level or performance. Nevertheless, if not done with sensitivity, respect, and empathy, feedback can also be devastating. Poorly planned, organized or phrased feedback can confuse and demoralize a learner. To be effective, feedback should be positive, concrete, and specific. Feedback should also be instructive. Like asking good questions, providing feedback also enables participants to reflect on their learning and determine possible follow-up actions and strategies.

Alicia Wilkes (1:04)

Providing ongoing feedback is one strategy for coaching students. Rather than saying what is wrong or deficient, facilitators provide specific advice that is relevant and respectful on how students can improve their work.

Gathering formative feedback from students while the course is running (through check-ins and informal surveys) is often the most important means of ascertaining how the strategies you’re using to establish and maintain presence are actually impacting the students in the course and allows you to make mid-course adjustments.

Furthermore, as you’ll note from your mini-sessions, you've been introduced to the FLIF model of providing feedback. Before teaching your next online course, it may be helpful for you to determine what kind of feedback model you would like to test out with your students.