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Weekly Tip: Scalable Strategies for Delivering Feedback

Students depend on rich and frequent feedback to measure their performance in a course and to track their learning. For instructors, finding the time to give this detailed feedback in a consistent, fair, and efficient manner can be challenging. In this weekly tip, we will discuss a few scalable strategies to help deliver equitable and consistent feedback regardless of course size.

Divide the Workload

We all know how easily ungraded assignments can accumulate, even in a short period of time. This can be especially true if you have a large enrollment class. Some instructors successfully stay on top of grading by dividing the workload into sections and trying to work on one set a day. If larger assignments have separate segments, work on one segment of the assignment in one round, then the next segment of the assignment in the next round, and so on.

Consider Time of Day and Setting

Additionally, you can determine where and when you feel most productive giving feedback. This could be in the morning with a cup of coffee, at night before bed, right after lunch, or at the end of a workday. Once a good time and setting is determined, stick with it. In addition, find a suitable setting where feedback can be given with few interruptions.

Use Rubrics

Rubrics create a common set of standards and a common language for providing feedback. Utilizing the rubric tool in Blackboard or Canvas for each assignment not only helps to set clear expectations, but also helps you provide feedback quickly and consistently. Rubrics also promote consistency when relying on TAs or co-instructors to assist with grading.

Use Audio or Video Comments

You can model different modes of communication in the online environment and help learners stay engaged by providing both audio and video feedback. Consider taking advantage of the media comment feature in Canvas. This feature allows you to record your comments instead of using text. Audio and video comments also have the benefit of recording inflections and nuances in your statements, which can give more context to your comments.

Address Recurring Misconceptions

If there are commonly missed questions or concepts, try keeping a document with detailed explanations or responses. You can then copy and paste these responses when giving feedback to students individually. You can also consider using short, recorded videos explaining the concept or send an announcement correcting the misconception.

Resources

Here are some additional resources for further reading:

This series of videos and teaching tips is presented by Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI). We invite you to join the conversation. Share your tips and ask questions through this blog. If you would like these posts to be sent directly to your email each week, subscribe to the listserv by emailing aoi.li@wsu.edu.

For more information or to schedule time with an instructional designer or emerging technologist, contact aoi.li@wsu.edu or request training on demand. You can also visit the Spark Faculty Innovation Studio in room 102 any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during the academic year.