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ETEC 501 Feedback Recommendations for Online Instructors


Essential Issue Five recommendations on how online instructors may provide specific and timely feedback to learners in order to improve performance, insure best practices, maintain quality assurance and establish forward momentum for the course.


This PowerPoint session will engage the following: 1. Identify clear guidelines for interaction 2. Define two essential forms of direct feedback 3. Establish rationale for setting deadlines 4. Suggest using surveys in order to gather feedback for quality assurance 5. Discuss grading and reasonable response times


Suggestion # 1 Instructors should provide clear guidelines for interaction with students. 1. Establish policies describing the types of communication that should take place over different channels. 2. Set clear standards for instructors' timelines for responding to messages.


Suggestion # 2 Instructors need to provide two types of feedback • Informational Feedback

• Acknowledgement feedback


Descriptive Feedback • • • • •

I can’t distinguish between your “f’s” and “g’s” Improper use of the word “to”; should be “too” Should be “principal” nor “principle” Proper nouns should be capitalized The two adjectives don’t have gender agreements with the noun • I need a more complete description of the 4 “P’s” of marketing • Shrinkage at the retail level doesn’t always involve overt theft


Non-Descriptive Feedback • • • • • • • • •

CMessy! You can do better! Stay on topic What do you mean? Add a conclusion Reread the assignment Do it over Completely wrong


Suggestion # 3 Online courses need deadlines • Reminders of approaching deadlines • Assists students in pacing themselves • Assists students in avoiding procrastination • Establishes context for regular contact with instructor and peers


What Does the Research Say? • Clear, concise feedback matched to standards will promote student achievement (O’Connor, 2002) Feedback generally produces positive results if teachers manage the form the feedback takes. (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollack, 2001)


What Does the Research Say? • Specific, descriptive feedback that focuses on success and points the way to improvement has a positive effect. (Davies, 2002) • Students must be given the opportunity to apply the feedback by trying again (Black & Wiliam, 1998)


Question • If descriptive feedback helps students make adjustments to learning in order to improve, what are the implications for instruction and assessment?


Suggestion # 4 Using Surveys to gather Feedback for Improving the Course • Social Media phenomenon • Leverage and embrace it! • Opens up to much more information and many more learning opportunities • Less maintenance


Surveys….continued • What information are you looking for? • Who has the answers? • What is a survey good for? • Why use them?


Two types of surveys 1. Closed-ended

2. Open-ended


Examples of Closed-Ended Questions • Likert Scale

• Multiple Choice

• Ranking


Quality Control/Quality Assurance • Gather feedback with surveys in order to improve course • Easy to administer • Best for obtaining opinion data • Best for anonymity


Suggestion #5 Grading and Reasonable Response Time • Feedback activity that can maintain or thwart forward progress

• Establish protocol for providing progress

• Continues momentum


Response requested and expected…….NOW! • Student expectation

• A reasonable response timeframe

• Setting the bar too high


Benefits of Timely Feedback • To the Learner

• To the Instructor


Success and Summation • Clearly understandable course expectations and procedures • Clearly defined response times • Monitor student inquiries for patterns which may be clues for needed revisions in procedures


References • Teaching Online With Errol: Overcoming the #1 Complaint of Online Students: Poor Instructor Feedback! Online Classroom, June 2007. • Charles Graham, Kursat Cagiltay, Byung-Ro Lim, Joni Craner, and Thomas M. Duffy "Seven Principles of Effective Teaching: A Practical Lens for Evaluating Online Courses" The Technology Source, March/April 2001 • Patti Shank, PhD, CPT, Online Course Quality Assurance: Using Evaluations and Surveys to Improve Online Teaching and Learning. Faculty Focus, January 2010.


References • Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, from The American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, March 1987. • Jay McTighe and Ken O'Connor Seven Practices for Effective Learning, Educational Leadership November 2005 | Volume 63, # 3 Assessment to Promote Learning Pages 10-17 • Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001).Classroom instruction that works: Researchbased strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


ETEC 501