From the ID Team
Student Feedback for Online Course Improvement
by Veronica Sanchez
Most instructional design models are designed to be repetitive. One could assume a course is always a work-in-progress, considering many factors change from semester to semester (i.e. audience, technology, current events). That's where student feedback can identify areas of improvement. Who better to identify those areas than your current students?
The TLPDC Rubric
Take a look at the TLPDC Rubric, subcategory "12. Student Feedback." It outlines best practices for this topic. Keep in mind, this rubric builds upon each level/column presented. That information is compiled below.
"Students are given an opportunity to provide feedback on the course through discussion boards or other informal formats." It's important here to note that minimally, you should provide one opportunity for feedback (such as a discussion forum).
- For constructive suggestions, write clear and concise prompts.
- For just-in-time suggestions, make it available indefinitely.
"The course includes a formal opportunity for students to provide feedback regarding course quality at the end of the course. [In addition,] feedback is designed to be anonymous." To meet the criteria of the effective guideline, you should provide two opportunities:
- an informal opportunity as above
- a formal opportunity (i.e. survey) that is:
- given at the end of your course and
Effective questions will elicit constructive feedback. Here are some commonly seen questions:
- Which aspects of this course are working well at this point in time?
- What would you improve in this course to make learning more effective?
- Do you have any other suggestions?
"The course includes an opportunity for students to provide mid-course feedback regarding course quality." For feedback to meet the exemplary criteria, there should be three avenues for feedback:
- One informal
- Two anonymous and formal opportunities given
- at mid-course and
- another at end of term
Giving the student multiple opportunities for feedback creates an exemplary course for several reasons. Not only does it allow the student the opportunity for just-in-time feedback, but it communicates that you have a goal to make the student's learning experience a positive one. This will certainly create a positive and lasting impression. In addition, mid-course feedback provides for adjustment of minor settings that may be causing the course delivery to be clunky. The all-important end-of-term feedback provides a catch-all opportunity, allowing reflection on the course as a whole.
For assistance with planning your feedback methods, or any other help with your online course, please contact the Instructional Design team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 806-742-7227.
- Using Student Feedback. University of Oregon: Teaching Effectiveness Program. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
- Improving Your Teaching: Obtaining Feedback. University of Michigan: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
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