Magic of Feedback

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

One of the best ways to combat feelings of isolation online is through providing meaningful feedback to students. Join us as we conjure some magic and cover best practices of feedback in the online classroom.


As an instructional designer with the University of Colorado, Alexis partners with faculty from a variety of disciplines to transform online learning spaces. Alexis' background is in education, having served as a teacher of English language learners for more than a decade at schools in Colorado, South Korea, and Oregon. She has also worked as a newspaper and public radio journalist, an academic advisor, and a curriculum development specialist. She earned her MS in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MA in TESOL from The New School, and is working on her doctorate in education at the University of Colorado Denver.
Lynee is a senior instructional designer at CU Denver who focuses on online program design and faculty development. She has a background in academic libraries and is keen on researching and discussing the in and outs of the online learning experience. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is happy to be in Colorado with her husband and daughter. She has an undergraduate degree in art history and graduate degrees in library science and instructional technologies.

Extended Abstract

In education, the word "feedback" has many strong connotations. Most believe giving feedback to students is important, but students report a lot of dissatisfaction with the feedback they receive due to a lack of helpful or timely comments. Faculty also often report finding it extremely time-consuming and burdensome. Faculty may even doubt whether students actually read or engage with the feedback they are given. We want to help our audience combat all of that, by showing participants how to improve their feedback to students and to weave it into their course in more meaningful ways!

First, we'll talk about why we're here and define feedback a bit, in addition to giving examples of effective versus less effective feedback, and soliciting examples from the audience. We'll also talk about the concept of feedback versus feedforward, discuss ways to leverage automated feedback, give some practical examples for involving students in the feedback processes, and end with a discussion about scaling feedback to large format online courses.

The goal of our presentation is to provide faculty with tangible takeaways for improving students' performance and sense of connection in online courses through the usage of feedback. Feedback, when applied effectively, can positively impact the social, teaching and cognitive presence in an online course. It can also help promote wisdom over knowledge for both the faculty and their students and inspire students to have a growth mindset and confidence in the skills they are learning and how the apply to the real world. This may not be a spells and potions kind of magic, but to anyone with a love for educating, it's still pretty magical!