From feedback to feedforward: Course design principles and practices to increase student success and decrease instructor workload

Concurrent Session 3
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Brief Abstract

This presentation will enable participants to: a) differentiate between feedback and feedforward; b) recognize course elements that limit the ability for instructors to provide quality feedback; and c) create feeding cycles to improve student satisfaction/success and decrease instructor workload.

Extended Abstract

Feedback is essential to student success and satisfaction in online courses.

Martin and Bollinger (2018) noted that students expect constructive, timely, and indivualized feedback. As one participant put in a study on effective teaching by Martin et al. (2019), "timely feedback is everything for online learning." Indeed, Shin and Cheon (2019) demonstrated that the quality and quantity of feedback are primary indicators of student ratings of instructor effectiveness and overall learning experience are significantly related to the quality and quantity of feedback students review. Thus, Yang et al. (2017) showed that the quality of instructors is related to the quality of coursework which is significantly affected by the quality and frequency of feedback. In other words, effective instructor feedback is essential the success of the instructor, which is essential to the success of a course.

To meet the expectations and needs of learners, however, it is not enough merely to understand the importance of feedback. It is also necessary to understand the expectations of quality feedback (what elements should it contain, when should it be given); to discriminate between the different purposes of feedback; to create courses that effectively leverage and make room for feedback; and ultimately to provide effective feedback that meets the needs of individual learners.

This presentation will showcase strategies to enable instructors and instructional designers to leverage feeding cycles in course design, using feedforward to increase instructors' abilities to provide high quality feedback.