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Humanizing Language: Giving Useful Written Feedback

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Michael Braden

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of Humanizing Language: Giving Useful Written Feedback

feedback goes : to and from the students.
Pyke, J. G. & Sherlock, J. J. (2010). A closer look at instructor-student feedback online: A case study analysis of the types and frequency. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(1), 110-120.
Humanizing Language
Types of Feedback
Giving Useful Written Feedback
is the most widely used type
of feedback by instructors,
but not necessarily the
most effective.
Its purpose is to provide information
to the learner about his or her performance,
and increase learning through .
error correction
So much of how the student perceives your feedback depends on how it is .
Try to avoid language ("good job", "nice work", "poor paragraph") as it reinforces an 'either/or' dichotomy that the student may come to rely on.
Instead, stay with specifics of your experience:
In a healthy learning community,
multiple communication methods
to students helps to
personalize the
experience and
assist them in
It shares your perspective, either privately or in public, of how they're doing in the course.
Using will maximize the benefits of feedback.
...notes in the Gradebook
...comments in the body of a submitted paper
...an audio or video recording of you explaining your feedback
= any communication or procedure given to inform a learner of the accuracy of a response.
Written feedback
both ways
Good teaching requires feedback, including both and interactions.
instructor - student
2. Corrective Feedback
"I like how you _____ because it _____."
It should also provide guidance for
refers to instructor/student interactions that deal primarily with technological support issues. It is used to negotiate the hardware and software issues that students may encounter in an online learning environment.
“If you close out of this chat and click on the discussion topic ‘Week 9: Concept Learning’ then scroll down beyond the chat link, you should see some discussion there.”
This type of feedback is especially helpful with adult learners, or any student who
is relatively unfamiliar with
online technology.
You will find that students tend to ask
certain questions .

Save yourself some time by maintaining a list of 'common responses' to these questions, and using it:

Reactively, when students ask a question.
Proactively, as a 'FAQ' in the course.
As the instructor, you are responsible for being as familiar as possible with the technologies that your course uses. Take advantage of
students' concerns and difficulties in a timely manner.
them in persisting despite the challenges and setbacks they may face. There will always be some setbacks in the course, and/or in their own life -- your help and encouragement will make a difference.
them a sense of personal relevance and ownership of the learning process.
“Nine hours is a lot in grad school, particularly at a distance, and when you're working full-time as well... hang in there!”
them to solve the issue themselves and continue to improve in that area. A confident student is more apt to seek out an answer on his or her own, rather than continually asking you.
is particularly effective in online discussion threads, but it can also be used in private,
one-to-one communications.
Describing, not Categorizing.
" is thrown...
...and is caught."
will directly support or hinder their continuing engagement and performance in the course.
And the students'
Effective online instructors use a combination of several types of feedback. Let's look at three of the most important:
Identifies specific statements or ideas that you feel the student should have unfolded, explored, extended.
“It would have been helpful to provide a paragraph or two describing the implications of this theory in greater detail.”
No feedback given
Simple verification
Knowledge of results
"Try again" feedback
Elaborative feedback
Puts the student in a difficult place, with no indication of where he or she is, or "where to go from here." The student may be unsure you even received their assignment.
A simplistic response -- acknowledges receipt and indicates "correct" vs. "incorrect."
Asks the student to self-assess his or her performance.
Similar to elaborative feedback but provides an opportunity for the student to revise and improve those identified sections -- e.g., on an early draft of the assignment.
"Please provide a brief self-reflection explaining how well you feel you met the requirements of the assignment."
Levels of
Corrective Feedback...
So this is your responsibility:
feedback that is .
specific, honest, and encouraging
1. Motivational feedback
appreciation for their willingness to stay committed and involved.
"I know the assignments are particularly application-heavy this week, but I'm betting you'll find yourself a more competent clinician by Sunday, and it will have been worth it."
3. Technology feedback
again and again
all resources available
to do this.
Full transcript