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Distributed on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Connecting with students through timely feedback

Feedback in a timely manner to students keeps them connected to you, the course content, to other students and to any additional expert knowledge shared with your students.  Here is how I stay connected with my Undergraduate students throughout the semester (my students tell me they really appreciate and like).

Please note: These techniques are for all types of teaching – whether you teach online, blended with synchronous sessions or face-to-face.

    • Connecting with students
      • Put expectations in the syllabus
      • State expectations on the first day of class
      • “Stick” to those expectations
      • If you are not able to meet these expectations at various times throughout the semester, communicate this to the students
    • Connecting with content and course schedule
      • Detailed course schedule with due dates
      • Add a “The Next Class” slide within the slide deck each week
      • Announcement sent every Sunday (select to send out as an email) to include Weekly Updates and Weekly Reminders
    • Grading and feedback
      • This semester I am teaching M/W – Most of my assignments are due on Wednesday
      • I complete my grading on Sunday of each week
      • Completed grading is part of the weekly updates in the above-stated announcement
    • Re-Connect to Students
      • Open discussion the next class for the first 5 minutes of class

5 Ways You Can Teach Even More With Feedback 

Quick refresh from the workshop that I facilitated last year.   Please see attached the handout that I distributed at this workshop that lists the 5 Ways of Effective Feedback Ways and the Effective Feedback Resources based on my research.

5 Ways of  Effective Feedback

    • Gentle guidance
    • Timeliness
    • Be specific
    • Student involvement
    • Future orientation

Distributed on Tuesday, February 28, 2019

Last semester I sent out a Teaching Tips about connecting with your students through timely feedback.  I am revisiting this as the students have “given me feedback” quite a bit these past couple of weeks.  My students have commented on three specific items: 

The first and second item is the feedback from their peers and self-reflection.

I have my students complete various activities/exercise in class at least once a week (my class is a two-day class) that involve peer-to-peer feedback.  These are typically team exercises.  This encourages the student-to-student interaction, allows them to get to know their teammates and teaches them how to give/receive peer feedback. 

I will share their favorite exercise thus far:  Peer-to-peer presentation feedback: They complete this the class period prior to their first formal presentation.

  • Each person presents to their teammates
  • All teammates give verbal feedback - based on the presentation rubric
  • Individual writes a business memo addressed to me which includes the summary of what they heard, their reflection of the peer feedback and list items that they will change for the actual presentation
  • I allow 20 minutes of class time for this exercise
  • Result – they do much higher level presentations

Please note that this can be used for any assignment, project, activity, and so on.

The third item is the feedback from me, as their instructor

I follow the rules connecting through timely feedback that I list below.  I post their grades by the end of the day on Sunday – this is what I communicate to my students at the beginning of the semester.  For most assignments, I have a rubric that I fill in.  In addition to the rubric, I write thorough feedback.  This feedback is not “you did great” or “this needs work”.  I write it to encourage them to learn and motivate them to want to progress as they continue throughout the semester. 

I will share what I have already heard this semester

    • “It is so nice to receive feedback that is written to help me know what I need to work on as well as what I have done well.”
    • “Thank you so much for taking the time to write thorough feedback.”
    • My favorite:  “I am so glad that I came to the iSchool as the instructors here are very encouraging and motivating.”