Feedback in an eLearning course is an element of reinforcement, where you tell your learner that he/she is right or wrong and state the reasonfro the same . In most instances ‘Yes that’s right’ or ‘That’s not quite correct’ are the most common feedback statements in any eLearning course. While this yes or no approach works perfectly well for single select questions, when it comes to multiple select questions a higher understanding is needed to give the right feedback.
A simple right/wrong tactic is not effective, a multiple select question as the name suggests, has multiple answers usually ranging from a minimum of two to a maximum of three right answers, and where there are multiple answers you need to have multiple feedback. Apart from our two common friends “that’s right” and “that’s not quite right”, let me introduce to your new friend “You are Partially correct.’ In the following paragraphs you will read about what is “You are Partially Correct” and its significance as a positive feedback.
You are Partially Correct: As mentioned, every multiple select question has multiple answers and in most cases we tell the learner why he/she is right or wrong and the reason for it, but what happens when the learner has selected only one right answer instead of the correct options? How do we tell him whether he is right or wrong?
Take a look at the first example; it’s a multiple select question with two right answers.
Now take a look and the second example that has the feedback for the question.
We clearly see the right and the wrong feedback; however the flaw in this form of feedback is that we fail to acknowledge the learner’s efforts if he/she selects at least one right answer. In such situations, instructional designers have to come up with logical feedback that makes sense both to the designer and the learner. For this you need tell your learner that he/she is partially correct and then go on to state where he/she has gone wrong. , Take a look at the third example for a better understanding.
In this instance, when the learner is neither right nor wrong, it’s better to tell him/her that it’s partially correct rather than telling he/she is wrong when it is not. You don’t want your learner to receive negative feedback even if one of the two answers are right, this will not only put off your learner but also will make him/her loose interest in going further.
Partially Positive: In any given scenario, be it eLearning or real life, a positive feedback can go a long way in building up confidence and increasing interest. The last thing you want is your learner abruptly leaving the course when you fail to mention that he/she is right in some way or very close to the correct answer. This is why telling your learner that you are partially correct will generate interest to know where he/she has gone wrong and try again. This from of specific feedback does not demotivate your learner but creates momentum to keep going until the end.
Positive feedback for tricky situations can be difficult at times, however , when done right especially in multiple select questions, it not only adds a better understanding of the subject but also a knowledge hungry learner who only keeps wanting more!