Feedback in online learning scenarios

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Feedback in online learning scenarios

  1. 1. ELT article published at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com Feedback in Online Learning Scenarios Feedback is no doubt an essential component of the teaching and learning experience of any student. Whether we are in a face-to-face (F2F) classroom or an online course, feedback provides learners and instructors with information on whether pupils understand the material, how well learners are getting along, as well as whether teacher’s instructions are easy to understand. In the following discussion, we will analyze a specific teaching scenario related to feedback in an online learning/teaching environment. We will examine one of the scenarios provided below, but you can also feel free to analyze the rest of the teaching situations on your own.  Online Scenario 1 — Student Frustration You notice a few students are meeting frequently in the discussion forum. So you decide to see how their conversations were going. You pull up the transcripts of their conversations and notice that they are complaining about the lack of feedback and poor feedback they are getting from another instructor. The students express how frustrated it makes them and that they feel completely lost in that course.
  2. 2. ELT article published at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com What should be done when students experience frustration in another instructor’s class? Let it be borne in mind that students expect three types of presence from their instructors: social, teaching, and cognitive presence. By means of all three types of interaction with students, learners expect teachers to make them feel at ease, with a low affective filter, and guided to achieve learning goals in the course. But if these presences are not fulfilled, students will experience frustration and a sense of being lost or guideless. If confronted with this situation, it is advisable to ask student to discuss the issue with their instructor. Learners’ first reaction is to discuss among themselves what is going on in the course as a way to release their “anger” and “vexation” towards what they are experiencing, but rarely do they go directly to the root of the problem. For this reason, it is important that they can ventilate the issue with the instructor and try to conciliate their positions and find a satisfactory way out. If nothing can be negotiated among the instructor and the students, they must address the issue to the school’s director to have both parties find a consensus that satisfies them and that can allow them to work harmoniously. Comprehending one’s role as a “counselor” for students is key in trying to help them find a solution for their learning obstacles. Interfering in another colleague’s course is not ethical, but what ethics must tell you to do is to advise students to do the right thing. And if one happens to know the other
  3. 3. ELT article published at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com instructor, how advisable is to tell him/her of what is being discussed among his/her students? It can be some sort of irony of situation, but in a very professional way, it is better to inform the head of the department, who can deal with this issue from a hierarchical dimension that could be better understood by the instructor –who in the students’ mind or perspective is giving them no guidance and is triggering lots of frustration-. Now, based on the discussion provided above, work on analyzing the following virtual learning environment (VLE) scenarios to come up with you own solutions and ways to palliate the emerging problem and the way to eradicate the problem from your teaching situation.  Online Scenario 2 — Lack of Participation You decide to assign students into groups for their next assignment. You see this as an opportunity for students to learn from each other and to practice their collaboration skills. By mid-week as you check your e-mails, you notice two e-mails from two different students. You open each e-mail to read that both students are complaining about the lack of help they are receiving from their group members.
  4. 4. ELT article published at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com  Online Scenario 3 — Teacher Feedback At the end of your online course, your students are required to complete a teacher evaluation. It consists of likert-scale questions and open-response questions. This is a new initiative started by your institution. You are expected to use the feedback to help inform what you are doing in your course. After the semester is over, you receive your feedback. As you start reading through, you notice that about half of the students really enjoyed the course and found it interesting; however, the other half really struggled with understanding the assignments and thought that the discussions were a waste of time.  To fully comprehend the scope of this teaching issue, it is highly advisable that the following topics must be expanded further:  Teaching Presence in VLE  Social Presence in VLE  Cognitive Presence in VLE  Feedback in VLE  How to deal with learning issues in VLEs Professor Jonathan Acuña-Solano ELT Trainer, Instructor & Curriculum Developer based in Costa Rica NCTE – Costa Rica Member Resource Teacher and Curricular Developer at CCCN
  5. 5. ELT article published at http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com Senior ELT Professor at Universidad Latina, Costa Rica, since 1998 Contact Information: Twitter @jonacuso Email jonacuso@gmail.com Pronunciation BIN-02 Pronunciation 1 Development BIN-06 Pronunciation 2 BIN-04 Reading Skills 1 Reading Skills BIN-08 Reading Skills 2 Development TEFL Daily ELT Daily Curated Topics English Language Teaching Journal Online Phonemics Daily The Linguists: Linguistics News Jonathan’s Learning Attic Article published on Friday, January 3, 2014

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