Innovative Learning with Mrs. C

Learning & Teaching in a modern world

Week 4 – Feedback has an important role

November3
Copurtesy of CanStock Photo.com

Courtesy of CanStock Photo.com

Many of the readings this week, have indicated that feedback plays an important role in the learning experience. An alternative article, I discovered @ www.ejel.org on the subject identified the following critical components of effective feedback;

  • Feedback must have a element of timeliness,
  • It must be motivational,
  • It is best when individualized  and personalized,
  • It must be manageable,
  • And directly related to the assessment criteria.

When considering our last two questions; What characteristics of feedback affect students’ perception of their learning experience? and Even though feedback is an influential means of learning, why it is often most neglected or poorly given? I found this author’s points in 2 areas most applicable:

  1. “motivational: feedback may have positive or negative effect on student motivation and self-esteem. It affects students’ personal feelings which, in turn affect their engagement in the learning process.”.

When given genuinely , feedback then would have a significant impact on the students’ perception of their learning. Negative feedback runs the risk of easily discouraging the struggling student, and if fact if not delivered delicately, could cause a student to disengage entirely. ” I often hear the excuses “I’m not very good with computers” , “It’s too hard” or ” I can’t do it”. When a student struggles with a concept or idea or skill, it’s seems much easier to them to simply give up. And harsh assessment could tip the scale in that very direction. I will be perfectly honest, I struggle with the “cushy-cozy” delivery concept. I can be harsh – and that’s face-to face! I try to sugar coat it at times, if I think the student ultra-sensitive. But you just never know , they are teenagers after all….. I shudder to think what curt words could do in the online environment.

And specifically in response to  the second question:

  1. “individual/personal: each student has unique strengths and weaknesses. As a result, in order to be effective and enable students to improve their competencies, formative feedback must fit each student’s achievements. It needs to be personalized…”

That last statement is the answer.. personalized. Yes, we try and yes we do accomplish personalized feedback, sometimes.  I think it is critical and directly related to the effectiveness of our efforts and the learning process. But , again, if I am staying perfectly honest , this takes way too much time. Time we do not have. Time we need to perfect the next lesson or grade that next paper. It is not that we intentionally neglect this aspect of assessments. There is just never enough time to give it justice. In an online environment, we can blame the tools, but this is a difficult task to do and do well in any given classroom.

Resources:

Hatziapostolou, T., & Paraskakis, I. (n.d.). Enhancing the Impact of Formative Feedback on Student Learning Through Online Feedback System. International Faculty of University of Sheffield, 8(2), 122-122. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from www.ejel.org

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