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Motivational Feedbackin online learning

Paulina Kuzmo-Biwan

Characteristics of a good feedbackFeedback is providing effective information on someones performance (in brief it is to tell someone how they are doing in the process of achieving certain goals).

The term has been widely used by formative assessment supporters.

Characteristics of a good feedbackIn formative assessment there are 4 elements of a good feedback:

Characteristics of a good feedbackThe important thing is that we should always find something positive. Secondly, we should remember to avoid giving simple advice. Its better to use questions (e.g. What do you think about changing the font to make the text look clear?).

Characteristics of a good feedbackRemember feedback is description, not criticism.

Mistakes in giving feedbackMost so-called feedback is really advice or praise. Moreover, the feedback is not clear and descriptive enough about what did and didnt happen as a result of some action taken to achieve a purpose. (e.g. a total score of 72 out of 100 on a math quiz is the feedback; its meaning for action is unclear).

G. Wiggins

Mistakes in giving feedbackIncorrectNice job on the project, Sheshona!CorrectNice job on the project, Sheshona! You answered the essential question in great depth, with lots of illustrative examples, and your oral presentation was polished and informative.IncorrectNext time, Sam, youll want to make your thesis clearer to the reader.CorrectI found it very difficult to grasp your main point. At the start, it seemed that you were arguing against mining coal, but in paragraph three you focused on the need to provide healthcare to all workers. Next time, Sam, youll want to make your thesis clearer to the reader.

Mistakes in giving feedbackIncorrectThe lessonwould be more effective, Shana, if your visuals were more polished and supportive of the teaching.CorrectYour spoken delivery was clear and your account of the topic was a helpful and interesting summary: most students were engaged. Alas, the supporting materials you supplied looked unfinished and rough; 5-6 students were confused by them. The lesson would be more effective, Shana, if your visuals were more polished and supportive of the teaching.IncorrectYou taughtabout ants, Stefan? I LOVE ants!CorrectYou taught about ants, Stefan? I LOVE ants! However, the task was not to please me; the task was to make students ignorant or afraid of an animal to become interested in them. Yet, you began as if the students already shared your interest in ants instead of helping them overcome their distaste and become more interested in them.*

*examples taken from G. Wiggins.

Function of feedbackThe most important function of feedback is to motivate the person.

Function of feedbackThis table (Hatti, Timperley) shows the effect size of different forms of feedback (over 0.4 high effect, over 0.6 very high).

Function of feedback

Characteristics of a good feedback

According to G. Wiggins (Feedback for Learning Vol. 70, no. 1) there are 7 keys to effective feedback.

Characteristics of a good feedback

1. Goal-referenced. Information becomes feedback if, and only if, I am trying to cause something and the information tells me whether I am on track or need to change course.

Characteristics of a good feedback

2. Tangible and transparent. The best feedback is so tangible that anyone who has a goal can learn from it.

Characteristics of a good feedback

3. Actionable Effective feedback is concrete, specific, and useful; it provides actionable information. Thus, "Good job!" and "You did that wrong" and B+ are not feedback at all. We can easily imagine the learners asking themselves in response to these comments, What specifically should I do more or less of next time, based on this information? No idea. They don't know what was "good" or "wrong" about what they did.

Characteristics of a good feedback

4. User-friendly Even if feedback is specific and accurate in the eyes of experts or bystanders, it is not of much value if the user cannot understand it or is overwhelmed by it.

Characteristics of a good feedback

5. Timely In most cases, the sooner I get feedback, the better. I don't want to wait for hours or days to find out whether my students were attentive and whether they learned, or which part of my written story works and which part doesn't.

Characteristics of a good feedback

6. Ongoing If you play Angry Birds, Halo, Guitar Hero, or Tetris, you know that the key to substantial improvement is that the feedback is both timely and ongoing. When you fail, you can immediately start oversometimes even right where you left offto get another opportunity to receive and learn from the feedback.

Characteristics of a good feedback

7. Consistent Performers can only adjust their performance successfully if the information fed back to them is stable, accurate, and trustworthy*.*all the quotations taken from G.Wiggins

Feedback and online learningIts crucial for online learning activities (such as eTwinning projects, live events, groups) to make sure that all the activities include feedback. If we finish the task and do not know what the result was, why do the task next time?

Feedback and projectsWhy so many online activities lack feedback? At the same time, why not use feedback as a good way of interaction between pupils and/or teachers? All in all, eTwinning is based on interaction.

Feedback and eTwinningHow to do it in eTwinning?Use peer feedback (e.g. tell your students to choose one work of their partners and write a comment on it; share your opinion after an event created by eTwinner).Use teacher-student feedback (its even better when your partner writes feedback for your students, and you do the same for his/her pupils).Use peer assessment feedback (write a few motivational words on the forum, in the journal etc.). Make eTwinners know you see their work.

Presentation based on:Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.Hattie, J., Timperley H. The Power of feedback. Review of Educational Research 2007 77:81.Granted, and - thoughts on education by Grant Wiggins, available at: