Students’ engagement in completing written assignments or learning activities may, in part, serve the purpose of achieving their learning goals. Assessing student work based on clearly stated course objectives, on the other hand, helps instructors to teach effectively by reaching out to each individual student with strategies compatible to the student’s needs and learning level. Such a teaching and learning process may be viewed as coaching through assessment (Chang & Petersen, 2006). It is an essential vehicle that students use to continuously reflect on and construct their particular knowledge and skills (Chang, 2007; Chang & Petersen, 2006; MacDonald & Twining, 2002). Without it, as found by Lim & Cheah (2003), students may feel lost and detach themselves from learning.
Typology And Analysis Of Online Instructor Feedback
Through a text-based asynchronous communication system, there exist three different mechanisms that instructors or tutors employ to offer feedback to student work or learning activities. The following passages provide 1) a pro and con analysis regarding the use of these forms of instructor feedback (see Table 1) and 2) highlight the uniqueness and significance of personalized online coaching.Table 1.
Pros and cons of three types of feedback
|Type of Feedback||Pros||Cons|
|Handwritten||Familiar||Limited space for adequate feedback|
|Personal||Limited space for responses to feedback|
|Accessible||Uncertainty of tools used for posting responses|
|Automatic||Convenient||One-size-fits-all of instruction|
|Prompt||One right answer/Linear|
|Time saver for an e- instructor||Constraint on creativity|
|Cost effective for an e- instructor||Restricted learning styles|
|Misinterpretation of quiz items|
|Negative external factors, e.g. learners’ anxiety, nervousness, illness, fatigue|
|Absence of an analysis of essay questions|
|Meager information about student learning|
|Little basis for work improvement|
|Personalized E-Coaching||Increases immediacy/humanization||Time consuming|
|Individualizes instruction||Deep commitment needed|
|Promotes affective involvement||Much reading necessary|
|Encourages active participation||Much typing required|
|Provokes thinking||Possible misunderstanding of received messages|
|Stimulates learning desires|
|Cultivates self-regulation and self-motivation|
|Eases transition from familiar to unfamiliar learning environment|
Key Terms in this Chapter
Immediacy: Indicates the instructor’s intended visibility in a virtual learning classroom by working closely and interactively with a learner by providing responses and other types of feedback.
Handwritten Feedback via a Tablet PC: Feedback is provided to students’ submitted work via a Tablet PC, a tool cited as an innovative approach in providing online feedback.
Automatic Feedback: Refers to a way that provides students with feedback, which is pre-designed by the instructor and generated by a computer. Feedback of this type could be instantly received by students following the completion of a question or a set of questions. Automatic feedback may also be interchangeably replaced by other terms, such as machine generated feedback, computer generated feedback, and instant automatic feedback.
Text-Based Asynchronous Communication Systems: Refers to a virtual learning classroom, where teaching and learning rely heavily on both reading and written communication.
Course Management System: A tool with which an online instructor is able to develop an online course and to facilitate online learning.
Explanatory Feedback: Refers to feedback, which provides a learner with an explanation regarding strengths and weaknesses that a submitted assignment contains. The typology of the feedback is usually substantive and constructive in that it helps learners improve their performance.
Personalized Online Coaching: Refers to coaching implemented on an individualized basis. Usually, it takes place in response to online communication in the form of a student’s submitted or posted work. While reviewing or granting a grade to the student’s assignment, the instructor also purposefully helps the student gain knowledge by weighing in strengths and weaknesses and by encouraging the student to reflect on performance through a revision process.