Importance of feedback in elearning

With time, educators have agreed on the importance of feedback and confirm that feedback collection is one of the most critical aspect of any learning environment. Feedback, by definition, refers to the collected in reference to the individual’s behavior and reactions towards a product. Feedback cycle occurs in various ways between the learner and instructor, which includes both verbal and non-verbal. Specifically in online learning, feedback is also collected through written electronic exchanges, also referred as commuter-mediated communication.

Learner Feedback

Learner primarily provides feedback on user experience, content/curriculum quality, course pedagogy/structure, and instructor’s support. In collaborative learning environment, learners are also motivated to provide beneficial peer feedback, after adequate reviewing, analysis and synthesis of peer performance. Peer feedback is considered to be encouraging, academically sound and constructive. In addition to this, learners who participate in peer-to-peer feedback are considered to be better prepared for real-life situations.

Instructor Feedback

Instructors mainly provide feedback on learners’ performance and course goals. However, this requires trust and partnership between instructor and learner, which in return helps instructors to provide constructive and meaningful feedback. Instructors are asked to deliver feedback in reasonable amount of time, while ensuring encouraging tone. Posting grades in a timely manner and being responsive to learners’ queries are some of the examples of effective feedback.

Importance of feedback

Effective and efficient feedback are important for both learners and instructors as this helps them in ensuring ways to reflect, inform and adjust learning experience. Meaningful feedback not only allows learners to determine areas needed for self-improvement, but also helps them in assessing their performance and progress. Feedback by instructor motivates learners to meet course expectations and understanding course objectives. On the same line, real and and actionable feedback from both instructors and learners help in gaining valuable insights on what kind of changes or refinements are required and why.

With Totara Learn

Totara Learn has been developed, keeping in mind the necessity and importance of feedback in learning environment. To ensure adequate and constructive feedback processes between learner and instructor, Totara Learn comes up with following features:

  • In-built feedback authoring tool: This tool allows to conduct and create surveys to collect feedback from users. With this tool, one can create questions, rather than choosing from predefined question bank.
  • Real-time chat sessions: Real-time engagement is always better than any other mode of communication. The chat feature of Totara Learn helps users in participating in a real-time synchronous discussion.
  • In-built survey: This tool provides users with an array of verified survey instruments, which includes ATTLS (Attitudes to Thinking and Learning Survey) and COLLES (Constructivist On-Line Learning Environment Survey). These kind of surveys are proven to be helpful in gathering learner data to learn about their personality and way of learning.
  • Feedback on assessment activities: Apart from grading, Totara Learn offers instructors and learners with an option of providing textual or rating-type feedback on different assessment activities. This in turn helps in refining the content structure and improving the user experience.
  • Multiple format forum: With multiple forum formats available, this not only helps users in exchanging ideas, but also helps in providing direction to learners through encouragement. Internal messaging system: One to one feedback process is a traditional yet one of the most powerful methods of feedback collection, while maintaining anonymity. WIth this tool, students/instructors can directly approach each other and help understand the strengths and weaknesses of online learning.
  • Extensive questionnaire creation tool: Totara Learn’s questionnaire activity module is extensive enough to incorporate all the feedback and survey questions in one instance. It comes up with a variety of question types, which include Check Boxes, Dropdown choices, Essay box, Numeric, Radio buttons, Scale, Text box, Yes/no, etc.
  • 360 Feedback: This tools acts as a mechanism for users to provide and receive feedback on their performance from peers. Totara Learn comes up with a flexible form builder to help in specifying the structure of feedback and restricting the users, based on some rules.

Edvanta Recipe

Leveraging on the available feedback collection tools, Edvanta experts have integrated LMSs, be it Totara Learn or Moodle, with some of the world-class survey applications, including LimeSurvey.

While developing the analytics portion of the LMS, Edvanta experts have also been able to fetch some wonderful reports around feedback cycles. WIth the help of LRS and some analytics applications, real-time interventional responses are also being worked on. A feedback must be quick and useful to the learners; following the same philosophy, we are working towards machine learning and automated chat bots to ensure that the users don’t spend much time on receiving or providing adequate responses on their activities inside an LMS.

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