PART II- Feedback for Improving Student Success and Satisfaction

Dr. Glori Hinck  Co-Author Glori Hinck

In part 1 of this post, we focused on how feedback and support promote learner confidence. Learner confidence can lead to improved learner retention, progression, and success regardless of the class delivery mode. In part 2, we focus on feedback strategies.

The importance of feedback

A 2020 Educause article cited the impact of feedback on student success and satisfaction. The four feedback dimensions were timeliness, frequency, distribution, and individualized and content-specific. Research findings in the article reflected the individualized and content-specific feedback. Individualized and Content-Specific is the “degree to which feedback is specific to the individual learner’s goals, strengths, needs, or questions. Feedback either provides the learner with next steps to correct misunderstandings or prompts the learner to extend their learning in some new and novel way. The assumption is that individualized and content-specific feedback is best.” The results of the study indicated that students’ satisfaction ratings were an accurate reflection of quality and timely feedback provided by the instructor. Specifically, “Learners who received more individualized and content-specific (I_C) feedback per assignment scored higher on a standardized exam (not an exam created or graded by the instructor) and that they were also more likely to be satisfied with their learning experiences”.

Feedback Tip

  • Post in the announcement area and/or in a discussion forum any updates or time-sensitive feedback relevant to the entire class

Time-saving tips for providing Feedback

To save time conducting frequent, individualized feedback, consider

  • auto-grading (ex. LMS or application)

  • learner self-evaluation/reflection

  • peer-feedback 

  • maintaining copies of your feedback to re-use in future classes

  • consider opportunities to re-use content, activities, and assessments across different modalities.

In addition, sharing learner-produced artifacts across modalities not only creates an inclusive learning environment but a more robust and dynamic one. Reusability is another HyFlex pillar.

Some instructors use the conditional release feature in the Learning Management System (LMS). This allows learners to progress once they have met the criteria and not have to wait on the instructor to grade or provide feedback. This feature can create a barrier for some students. They get stuck and cannot progress. Eventually, they stop working. If you use adaptive or conditional release, do monitor the learners’ success and progress. In the context of HyFlex learning, consider whether topics must be presented linearly. If so, conditional release is an option. If not, think about offering as much choice as possible in your course. In addition to selecting how and when learners attend, may they also select the topic order and from activity and assessment options? However, do not loosely design your course in a way that learners are confused about where to start and how to navigate it.

Sample Lesson Flow

The lesson should flow from easier activities, to increased challenge to advanced activities. The lesson should move from guided instruction to learner independence. Build in natural breakpoints to offer feedback and identify how you will know learners are meeting expected outcomes. Consider how your planning will save you time and benefits the learners.

  • Set learning milestones that become checkpoints (natural feedback points)

  • Build on prior knowledge and experience

  • Break down information and tasks into manageable chunks (micro lessons) and provide a structure or tool (rubric) to guide the learning experience (scaffold)

    • Frequent, small chunks of content and assessment create opportunities for feedback and monitoring learner progression and success

      • Benefits the learners by giving them time to build confidence before moving to the next task or concept, promotes motivation by decreasing frustration

      • Provides a sense of progress and decreases sense of isolation

      • Benefits the teacher since it is easier, quicker, and more rewarding to grade quality work than poor

Learning aids and activities

  • Introduce new information or tasks using templates, graphic organizers, flow charts, outlines, or concept/mind maps

  • Provide step x step instructions print or video (with images as relevant)

  • Provide a checklist or rubric

  • Provide link to supporting resources as relevant (label as supplemental, if not primary)

  • Facilitate discussion with question prompts

  • Provide instructor-monitored/facilitated discussion spaces where learners can ask questions and share experiences

  • Provide sample problems to practice and apply important concepts

  • Provide opportunities for self-evaluations to reflect on learning

    • This aids the learner and the instructor to identify misconceptions, partial knowledge, or areas to strengthen; importantly, it also identifies areas of strength and proficiency

Hopefully this post provided you with new ideas around supporting your HyFlex (and other!) students. Think about other feedback strategies and share them in the comments section for this post.




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