feedback in online classes
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Lets understand Importance of Feedback in Online Classes

Let’s go down memory lane, back to when you were a young student. Did you ever experience a situation where you were expecting top-notch grades in your exams but received a very low score? Or the reverse of this, where you received a lot of appreciation for something you did half-heartedly? In most such cases, we wonder where we went wrong, or right! If only we could get into the minds of our teachers to understand them better! This brings us to the importance of feedback.

With growing research on feedback in the classroom, teachers are aware of its importance in improving learning outcomes. Feedback has become even more important in virtual settings, where there is a greater scope of missing out on direct communication with students. In online learning environments, feedback not just enhances the academic experience but also motivates students to participate actively in the session. Providing meaningful feedback should thus be an integral part of online teaching. It allows the students to track their performance, monitor growth, and make sure they’re on the right track in their academic journey.

Feedback can also be a valuable tool for teachers. It helps in understanding each student’s performance and helps determine the efficacy of the teaching style and lesson plans.

What is Feedback in a Classroom?

Feedback can be defined as information or responses given to students based on their assignments, homework, participation in the classroom, and so on. Simply put, providing feedback involves communicating to students about what they are doing correctly (their strengths) or incorrectly (their areas of improvement). When grading an assignment or a test, one shouldn’t overlook the importance of meaningful feedback. Feedback encourages students to do better and allows room for critical thinking. It also fosters a strong bond between the teacher and the student which is crucial in a remote learning environment.

Feedback and Online Learning

In a traditional classroom setting, it’s relatively easy for teachers and students to communicate face-to-face. This has many benefits including active participation, improved learning, enhanced creative thinking, and so on.

However, things are different in an online learning environment where students have to typically complete self-paced modules on their own and work on assignments. While teachers are always available for help, it cannot replace the offline teaching experience. Post-pandemic, students have been suddenly forced to adapt to an online mode of learning. As this shift was sudden, most students are still struggling to cope. This is where the significance of providing feedback comes in.

In the online mode of learning, it’s easy to get burned out and frustrated. Feedback can act as a great motivator and push students to improve their academic performance. Additionally, it encourages self-reflection and constructive discussion.

Teachers can successfully provide feedback to students in online classes with the help of these tips:

Explore different formats of giving feedback

In an online course, feedback can be provided in different formats. It can be written in an email, recorded as a voice note, or a video. Just make sure that the format you’re using is accessible to the student. If you are teaching on SuperTeacher, you can simply use the real-time messaging feature.

Give timely and regular feedback

The time and the frequency of the feedback are as important as giving feedback in the first place. If you want your students to apply your suggestions in their work, give timely feedback. The best time to give feedback is after the submission of an online assignment. You should also focus on providing it consistently. Don’t stop after one suggestion, follow it up with actionable ways in which the students can implement it.

Be specific

Giving specific feedback allows students to comprehend what you’re trying to convey and how to improve their work. You can cite examples from assignments they’ve worked on, provide a sample, and highlight areas of their learning that require revisions.

Give constructive feedback

Effective feedback should only be constructive. It should not be judgmental or biased. The best way to provide constructive feedback is by giving suggestions on how they can improve their performance, with suitable examples and tips.

Follow up with the students

To check whether your students are benefiting from your feedback, follow up with them. You can use forms that the students can fill anonymously. It can have questions like – how you can improve the learning style, if they are finding any difficulty in understanding the lessons, is your feedback helpful and comprehensive for them, and if they are now more confident about their academic performance.

Feedback builds a great student-teacher relationship. Use it as an opportunity to motivate students and to build rapport. This is especially important for online classes where drawing and retaining students’ interests could be challenging.

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