Much has been published in the literature about the feelings of isolation typically experienced by the online learner. It is important to help students overcome this, as well as to provide the fertile environment for robust social interaction. Prompt, meaningful feedback is helpful to the student, and shows them that they are not alone, and are being heard. As palloff and Pratt stated in 2004, feedback provides are roadmap of success to the student, and shows them how activities are judged, and places the activity and success of that activity into the context of the goals and objectives of the course. Though this may seem obvious, there is actually conflicting research on the importance of peer feedback, though it may be helpful in social and community building. While Wells reported in 2009 that the quality of discussions is higher in an environment that allows for peer feedback, Wood in 2009 found that Complex tasks may need the appropriate immediate feedback and socialpresence only garnered by synchronous interactions. Welch, in 2007, found that students often felt that instructors did not often give adequate feedback, as did hobgood in 2007, but Hobgood went on to find that students, though they appreciated seeing their classmates responses, did not feel that they learned from them. Maybe learning styles also play a hand in this, asCeniglia found in 2011 that providing timely feedback, especially incorporating video and audio to add other communication modes and cues, actually builds relationship building.Clearly, it seems universal that students need prompt and meaningful feedback from their instructor, and if the feedback provided by their peers simply adds to the social and community building of the online experience, then it would seem the importance of providing for that as well is in the best interest of the student.
Though perhaps we as educators are not in the game of making students happy, it would seem obvious that if student satisfaction is high, then the student will be more engaged in the learning process. Bender, however, in 2003 warned that honesty and integrity may be exchanged for flattery, both in the case of student assessment and instructor or course assessment.
However, as reported in the PR Newswire in 2006, Forming relationships is at the heart of effectively engaging students and fostering meaningful feedback. So, by setting the stage for meaningful feedback we shows students that they are not alone, where they are on the success scale, and give them a community to support them and provide meaningful interaction.
Cerniglia (2011) design leading discussions that encourages students to share ideas, work, and experience; assign discussion leaders; model for students how to respond; participate without taking over.Questions need to be asked throughout (the course) to determine how students are experiencing the course, the mode of instruction, and the online environment (P&P p.217).Asking students to be involved in the design of the course, such as writing a letter to future students, can have a positive impact on their motivational state which can result in more positive, constructive feedback throughout (P&P p. 219)
Meaningful feedback in online discussions
Meaningful Feedback in online Discussions<br />Kurt M. Sussman<br />
Importance of Meaningful Feedback<br />Fight the Isolation<br />Roadmap for success<br />
Benefits of Meaningful Feedback<br />Student satisfaction<br />
Benefits of Meaningful Feedback<br />Forming Relationships<br />
Strategies for Meaningful Feedback<br />Design leading questions<br />Question Often <br />Get Them Involved<br />
References<br />Bender, T. (2003). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning: Theory, practice and assessment. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus.<br />Cerniglia, E. G. (2011). Modeling best practice through online learning: Building relationships. YC Young Children, 66(3), 54-54-56,58-59. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/874271757?accountid=28180<br />Get them engaged: Relationships are essential to effective E-learning, says capella university's dr. barron; expert from online university says students insist on detailed feedback (2006). . United States, New York: PR Newswire Association LLC. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/447691674?accountid=28180<br />Hobgood, B. E., Jr. (2007). Perceptions of motivation, enjoyment, and learning from online discussions by north carolina high school students in online, advanced placement psychology courses. Education - Curriculum & Instruction (Ed.D.)). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304832438?accountid=28180<br />Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc.<br />Talboy, E. S. (2008). Level of professional experience and feedback preferences in online learning. School of Education). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304831041?accountid=28180<br />Welch, M. D. (2007). Nature versus nurture in online education: An analysis of retention in e- learning. School of Education). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304720842?accountid=28180<br />Wells, T. D. (2009). Evaluating the effect of peer feedback on the quality of online discourse. Communication and Media Technologies). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/305074478?accountid=28180<br />Wood, K. B. (2009). The importance of feedback in the blended classroom: A study of group discussions. Miami University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304929252?accountid=28180<br />