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eLearning courses: how to give effective feedback

Paola Giura
 Paola Giura
05/06/2019: What is the best way to give feedback to a student after a test? It is an important question as the student's assessment is a great teaching opportunity and an opportunity to stimulate learning.
eLearning courses: how to give effective feedback

To evaluate the learning path, but also to improve student involvement, it is useful to insert tests at the end of each chapter or unit of the online course, as we have explained in the past in this article. Providing tests at the end of each training module is not only a way to give a partial evaluation, but a valid tool to inform the students about their progress within the training path (and, for example, answer the questions: Were you able to learn the main concepts? What are the possible elements on which they still must improve?).

For this reason, feedback is a fundamental element in the design of the quizzes. This is the assessment that each student can read at the end of the test or after each response. The feedback also has a further function, that of motivating the participant. For this reason, it is essential to pay close attention to how it is written.

What are the main tips for effectively writing feedback in order to evaluate student responses, improve their learning and continue to increase their motivation? Here are some:

1. Being "sensitive"

It is counterproductive to stress an error excessively. Although it is essential to clarify that the student has given a wrong answer, it is preferable to always explain why and offer suggestions for improvement. A little sensitivity in writing the feedback will allow the students to understand the error, not to feel incapable and not to lose the motivation. The important thing is to improve one's knowledge.

2. Demonstrate the consequences of the error

When a student gives a wrong answer during a quiz, it is necessary to make him understand what consequences that mistake would have had in real life. This means reminding the student that the theory he is learning in the online course is not just a notion to be memorized, but also has practical consequences. In this way, there will be more chances for the trainee to remember the mistake and avoid it later.

3. Be clear

If, on the one hand, writing only "right" or "wrong" within the feedback has no real usefulness, on the other hand you should not overdo it with too long and pedantic assessments. It is necessary to use clear, effective and concise language, in such a way as to give space to both evaluation and further advice regarding the answer.

4. Do not enter new information

With the reading of the feedback it is necessary that the student can remember the notions he learned previously. For this reason, it is a mistake to use the evaluation of the tests to insert new information or notions, since they could confuse it further.

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