Provide Timely Feedback

"Regular feedback helps learners efficiently direct their attention and energies, helps them avoid major errors and dead ends, and keeps them from learning things they later will have to unlearn at great cost. It also can serve as a motivating form of interaction between teacher and learner, and among learners. When students learn to internalize the voice of the 'coach,' they can begin to give themselves corrective feedback" (Angelo, 1993, p. 6).

Examples of Sakai use

  1. Post a Forum about homework assignments, quizzes and tests. 
  2. Regularly post announcements highlighting key points of any quality student discussions or submitted work for that period. 
  3. Use quizzes with feedback that clarify correct answers when an incorrect response is entered. Consider using frequent short quizzes. 
  4. Use anonymous surveys to allow students to express questions about course content or concerns about how the class is being conducted.
  5. Use the grade book to provide timely dissemination of grades.

General best practices of providing timely feedback from current educational models

  1. Establish a time period within which all assignments or tests will be graded and returned to the students (Institute for Higher Education Policy, 2000, p. 24).
  2. Link feedback with assessment and vice versa.
  3. Define how quickly students will receive feedback (on questions they ask, emails sent, projects submitted, and tests taken). 
  4. Give students help in assessing their existing knowledge and competence. "Knowing what you know and don't know focuses your learning….students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive feedback on their performance" (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996, p. 5).
  5. "Don't assume students understand; ask. Try asking them to jot down what the "muddiest point" was in a particular reading, lab, or lecture, then respond to the most common "muddy points" in your next class. Find out what students are doing with the feedback you're already giving them. Do they read and use the comments you write on papers and exams? If so, how? If not, why not? Explicitly demonstrate how you get feedback on your work and what you do with it" (Angelo, 1993, p. 6).
  6. Give students chances to reflect on what they have learned, what they still need to know and how they might assess themselves (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996, p. 4).
  7. Use email to support person-person feedback.
  8. Videotape the student to allow the student to critique his or her own performance (Chickering & Ehrmann, 1996, p. 4).
  9. Use the "hidden text" option available in word processors to react to students’ drafts.
  10. Encourage the use of student portfolios for storing all student work so that instructors and students can compare early efforts and evaluate growth in knowledge, competence, or other valued outcomes.
  11. Make sure test questions require the kind of thinking and learning we wish to promote, and that students know in a general sense what those questions will be (Angelo, 1993, p. 6). "For generations uncounted students have annoyed their teachers with the question, 'Will this be on the final?' One reason they persist is that most genuinely want to get good grades. But a second reason is that knowing what will be on the final, or on any upcoming test or quiz, helps students figure out where to focus their attention. In other words, they are looking for a roadmap" (p. 6).
  12. "Once you're sure your questions are testing what you want students to learn, give them a sample exam or list of study questions from which the exam questions will be selected. Give students regular opportunities to practice answering similar questions and to get feedback on their answers. If students work in study groups, that corrective feedback often can come from their peers" (Angelo, 1993, p. 6).