FIU Online presents at the 2016 Quality Matters Conference

FIU Online was invited to present a concurrent session at the 2016 Quality Matters conference. The theme for the conference was “Blazing New Trails” and was held in Portland, Oregon from October 31 through November 2, 2016.

Karina Gomes and Maikel Alendy, both Lead Instructional Designers at FIU Online, facilitated the session titled “Feedback: We’re just giving it away”. This session was originally presented at the 2016 FIU Online Conference.

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Quality Matters signage announcing conference sessions

The session explored something that should be extensively used when teaching (online or face to face): feedback. The first part of the session went over what effective feedback accomplishes.

Effective feedback…

  • Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, expected standards)

It is very important to provide students with exemplars. This can be a former student’s work or an example created by the instructor of what is expected of them. Professors found that the quality of student work had a sharp increase in quality when providing exemplars.

  • Facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning

The feedback provided to students should help them reflect on what they are learning. Through effective feedback, the student should be given opportunities to assess where they stand.

  • Delivers high quality information to students about their learning

The feedback faculty provide should give exact milestones of what you consider to be acceptable and not acceptable work.

  • Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning

Let the students know it’s ok to ask questions. The course should contain exact information on how to reach the instructor. Also, do not underestimate the power of having students ask each other questions.

  • Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem

Let students know where they excelled and frame the feedback around making changes, growing and getting better.

  • Provides opportunities to close the gap between the current and desired performance

Whenever possible, assignments should be provided in two-stages. The first stage allows students to turn in a draft of the assignment to just receive feedback (no score). On the second stage, the completed assignment is turned for a grade.

  • Provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape teaching

Listen to students. Instructors should constantly assess if the feedback being provided is making an impact. Instructors can use the feedback they receive to continue customizing their course to keep the focus on what the desired outcomes are for the students.

Karina Gomes and Maikel Alendy present at the 2016 Quality Matters Conference
Karina Gomes and Maikel Alendy present at the 2016 Quality Matters Conference

The session also provided examples of different types of feedback, such as text feedback left on the learning management system, audio and video-based feedback. Also covered in the session were the kinds of feedback requested by students. Students request timely feedback, specific examples and rubrics for their assignments.

Overall, the session can be summarized with these 5 points:

  1. Be as specific as possible
  2. The sooner the better
  3. Address the learner’s advancement toward a goal
  4. Present feedback carefully
  5. Involve learners in the process

If you are interested in learning more about effective feedback, feel free to contact an FIU Online instructional designer. To view a recording from the session as was presented at the 2016 FIU Online Conference, access the link here.

About Gus Roque

Educational Technology Manager for FIU Online.

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