Tips for Feedback in eLearning Assessments

5 Tips for Effective Feedback in Online Formative Assessments

‘How will you fix the problem, if you don’t know what went wrong?’ You must have come across this phrase often in situations where you are going through a review or receiving feedback. This also applies to eLearning, where the feedback is not happening in real-time and its recipient is physically distant from the instructor.

For eLearning professionals, it is very important to provide corrective and meaningful feedback for the course to bear positive results. It allows learners to get the most out of the eLearning courses and modules, and also ensures eLearning professionals have the constructive criticism they need to improve upon their deliverables. Effective feedback in eLearning assessments can transform any online course into a success for everyone involved in it.

Here are some tips for eLearning professionals on providing feedback to ensure an effective and engaging eLearning experience for the learner:

Timely and constructive:

Providing feedback to learners throughout the course is a great way to keep them motivated and engaged. Performance indicators can help in keeping them focused and on track. It allows them to see how well they are progressing in the course. Using quizzes or surveys in different stages of the course will check how well the learners have retained the content.

Answering questions correctly will motivate them and feedback will help them grasp the correct answer when they answer incorrectly. Providing timely feedback also maintains the flow of the learning process.

The feedback should let the learner act upon the constructive criticism or the input that has been provided. Learners will better understand how improvements can have a direct impact on their learning process, first hand.

No grading for formative assessments: 

It is better not to score formative assessments as they are meant to evaluate the comprehension level of the learner and not indicate his expertise in it. So, ensure that the formative assessments in the online course are designed to check learner’s progress. It has to be made sure that the feedback provided is encouraging and motivates the learner to go forward.

Proper explanations:

Feedback should not be limited to stating whether the answer is correct or incorrect, but also include an explanation for the same. This helps the learner in understanding why he was wrong or just made a lucky guess. Also, it should be ensured that the feedback pattern is uniform throughout the course. A set framework for feedback reduces the chance of confusion for the learner.

Avoid overloading:

Expressing more than one idea should be avoided while giving feedback. The feedback should be connected to the current learning objective rather than others.

Positive language:

It is important to use positive and encouraging language. No matter how short duration of the quiz is, a few positive words can make considerable difference in the way the learner engages and performs. Encouraging them on selecting the right answer, will foster a positive learning environment. This gives them a sense of belonging to the eLearning course. They also tend to contribute better ahead.

Keep it relevant: 

It is important to keep in mind that the feedback is relevant. Learners’ interest for the course increases once they are able to connect the feedback to their personal and professional life. Learning becomes more meaningful henceforth.

Links and references:

An employee takes an eLearning course in order to take some quantifiable benefits out of it for performance support. When a wrong answer is marked, the feedback can also include links and references to a particular section where the employee can find detailed explanation to the question. This will ensure that they get the concepts cleared.

Show real-life implications: 

The training program will be effective if employees are able to see themselves in circumstances which will simulate their real-work situations where they have to make decisions every other day. Showing learners that their actions are directly related to the real-life situations are an important part of eLearning feedback.

This can be done by using branching scenarios and real-life implications that show the results of the choices they make. The learner will be able to learn from his mistakes and apply it in a safe environment, rather than on-the-job.

There is no denying the benefits of incorporating constructive feedback in eLearning courses. It helps learn better and, enables learners to engage with the content.

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