provide feedback
Feedback is an important aspect of the learning process. Meaningful feedback is insightful and helps in enhancing a student’s ability to learn. When a student is learning a new skill, some information must be shared with them about their performance so that they can make corrections if needed. But, most of the time, feedback is misunderstood and considered negative. Negative feedback can be counterproductive for a student’s growth as they get discouraged. Sharing feedback in an online education setup becomes even more difficult. But there are ways through which an appropriate feedback response can be shared without demotivating the student.

A teacher has the responsibility to provide feedback to students in a positive manner. The student shouldn’t feel demotivated or disheartened after the feedback session. In this article, we have compiled some effective ways to use feedback that will increase motivation and help students accelerate their learning process.

Timely feedback

Giving feedback immediately is the most effective. Students respond positively when you show them proof of learning. Thus, they are more likely to remember the insights and incorporate those in their learning process. Immediate feedback has a positive impact on their performance. If the feedback is delayed by days, weeks, or months, then the student won’t be able to connect the feedback with the action. The feedback will become obsolete, and the student’s performance won’t improve.

Specific feedback

Sharing abstract insights won’t help the students as they won’t be able to connect it to their actions. For example, complimenting students with verbal appreciation or feedback won’t tell them what they did right or wrong. Specific examples and references will bring clarity about places they did well, and what aspects might need improvement. Thus, take time to provide feedback to your students so that you can include proper references and examples. Also, highlight the aspects that they have corrected and are doing differently than before. All this information will be helpful for students to gauge their current progress.

Focus on strengths

Students mostly receive feedback in the form of grades. The tests highlight their mistakes by marking incorrect answers. This gives students a good idea about their faulty reasoning and incorrect conclusions. But sometimes, this approach can have a negative impact on the student’s motivation. Giving positive feedback by sharing their strengths catalyzes their learning process. Once you highlight the strengths to your students, they can implement the same to other weak areas. The point to remember is that the feedback should be objective and individualized based on the student's performance.

One-on-one sessions

Having one-on-one meetings with students is the most effective way of providing feedback, especially in a virtual classroom setup. This separated time that you spend with your student will help you in explaining their rights and wrongs in detail. Moreover, students will also get an opportunity to ask questions. Make the session interactive and have a healthy discussion with your students.

Be careful with feedback

It is important to give feedback individually to students as your class might have diverse learners. The way you present your feedback can have an impact on how it is perceived. Thus, constructive criticism can also be taken negatively. Some students need to be pushed harder while others need to be handled gently. Thus, you should maintain a balance between not hurting your students’ sentiments, and providing transparent feedback.

Discuss a specific skill

If you discuss one skill or a specific achievement, then the feedback has a greater impact on the students. Never discuss multiple feedbacks or focus on all the wrong things. Clarity in feedback will give them a correct assessment of their progress towards achieving the final goal. So, you can set the expectation at the beginning of the class about the focus area that you would be assessing and giving feedback for. Keep changing the focus areas as the curriculum progresses.

Involve students in the feedback process

Involving students in collecting and analyzing performance data is critical for having a healthy discussion. If students have access to this data, they would get actual statistics about their performance. Using this insight, they can pivot their learning strategy by recognizing their mistakes.

These strategies will help you in increasing student responsiveness to feedback. If you know your students and have built trust with them, then the feedback sessions will be effective.