Feedback During eLearning

I’m a couple weeks into summer and have had time to thin about the last couple months of the school year. After analyzing it a bit, I’ve come to the conclusion that feedback was one of the major challenges during eLearning.

Feedback in an actual classroom is much different compared to feedback during eLearning. I should say emergency eLearning because the plans were thrown together with very limited transition time. It’s much different when you’re able to sit and talk with a student about misconceptions. In person feedback is more effective as you can use non-verbals, see reactions, have students explain their reasoning, and make multiple attempts within a short period of time. The biggest difference is in how quickly students are able to use the feedback while in person. In the digital realm, I found myself giving feedback and a student using it much later in the day or sometimes multiple days later. Some students would respond quickly and others wouldn’t even see it for days. Part of this was due to the platform that we were using. I found that the effectiveness of the feedback was a tipping point when introducing new content and students were still having a challenging time applying the skills. Students that understood the concept and/or had help from a parent at home were able to move on and those that didn’t had trouble keeping up.

Soon after moving to eLearning I ended up developing a draft key to help with the feedback. This was made more as of a communication method to tell students that I received their work and if corrections were needed. SeeSaw allowed me to write in the comment section and that’s where I put the feedback. I wrote about some of this earlier in the year here.

√ Meets expectations
∆ Try again (and then I added feedback)

I mainly used these as they’re shortcut keys on my computer and I could quickly type them into the comment field. If a student received less than 100% they’d get a ∆. Over time my feedback turned into questions or I referred students back to the directions.

Some of the question/comment stems are below.

  • The directions state …
  • Have you considered …
  • Can you explain why you …
  • Is volume measured in …
  • How does your work show …
  • Check what I circled …
  • It looks like ____ might be missing
  • Why did you use ____ operation
  • Why did you round …

Obviously the written feedback depends on the task. Many of the tasks came out of our district’s adopted resource, but others were Google Form or from Desmos. Another factor to consider is how receptive students are to the feedback. Most students were receptive and resubmitted with a “I forgot/ I didn’t see that / That makes sense now / Thanks! / I’ll remember that next time …” Other students would say, “It’s right, I checked it / I didn’t forget anything.” In those cases I’d kindly remind them to check again or notate on the student response where additional information is needed. There were times where I gave audio feedback and that worked for a few of the students. Some students would respond to this immediately, while I had to remind others to review the feedback and resubmit.

As we inch closer to the new year I’m looking at modifying this system. Teachers and students might (as of 6/20) be in the classroom to start the year with masks and there’s a possibility that some of the instruction will be online.

So far this summer has been full of non-school reading and yard work. It’s great to recharge and get outside. While doing this I’m keeping in mind what needs to be done when we return in August.

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