Did you watch TESOL International Association’s coffee chat, A Cup of Coffee with TESOL Experts: Giving Feedback? If you missed it, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here are some key takeaways.
Providing effective feedback in online learning environments
In this webinar, the expert panelists discussed the following question: how can we provide effective feedback in online learning environments? According to the panel of experts, effective online feedback needs to be timely, positive, constructive, specific, and clear.
Effective online feedback needs to be timely
Students need to know when they can expect feedback and it should be provided to them on a regular basis. Make time for giving your students feedback and build it into your schedule so it becomes part of your routine. For oral assignments, it’s important to give corrective feedback in the moment. For written assignments, feedback doesn’t have to be given right away, but it’s not effective if it’s given weeks after an assignment was due. Plus, if your lessons and assignments build on each other, it’s important to give feedback before the next task.
"A safe environment helps students become better learners."
Effective online feedback needs to be positive and constructive
It’s important for students to receive both positive and constructive feedback. First, highlight the positive. Let them know when they’ve done something well and that you appreciate the effort they’ve made. After you’ve provided them with a positive comment, then you can offer them constructive feedback.
"If you exhibit self correction, that's only going to encourage them to do the same."
Effective online feedback needs to be specific and clear
Lastly, effective online feedback should be specific and clear. There are a variety of ways that you can provide helpful feedback: you can offer an explicit correction; you can pinpoint an error and encourage the student to self-correct; or you can make suggestions and provide multiple options for correction. In an online environment especially, a student might find a quick recorded video with your feedback meaningful. If you teach a group of students, you can also provide collective feedback to the entire class through a video or a post with a list of common mistakes. You don’t have to be the only one who gives feedback either—you can have your students provide feedback for each other too!
Teachers, when and how do you provide effective online feedback? Let us know in the comments below!