How to provide students with meaningful feedback (even when schools are closed)

  1. How to help students in a synchronous way (videoconference for instance).
  2. How to help students in an asynchronous way (using Classroom, Google Docs, Flipgrid…)
  3. How to foster collaboration between students (in a non-teacher centre approach, you can rely on students to help each other).

1. How to help students in a synchronous way

Zoom

It’s easy to set up an appointment with your student and explain whatever you need to explain them. It doesn’t have to be long and you could schedule informal chats just to confirm that everything is right or understood. To do that, Calendly is great. All you have to do is provide a link and students choose a slot.

2. How to help students in an asynchronous way

Google Classroom

Students can (and should) write comments in Google Classroom if they don’t understand something. Say you are posting a new activity or an assignment. If a student needs a little extra help, it may be useless to schedule a meeting and so on. All the student has to do is to write a question. Most of the time it solves the problem.

Google Docs

In order to produce student with rich feedback, you may use these three Chrome add-ons.

PDF

You may prefer using PDF files you can annotate in Kami for instance or even in Google Classroom. The latter is great for small assessments, the former has more capabilities (markup, comments, shapes, drawing…). Whatever your choice is, PDFs are a little bit like paper. If you have a stylus, it’s easy to grade a digital essay as you would on paper.

Flipgrid

Flipgrid is an app that allows students to record short online videos. A great opportunity to work on oral communication. As a teacher, you can even record an answer, send a private comment, etc.

Forster collaboration between your students

True, teachers can help students making progress, but actually students can help each other. As a matter of fact, giving feedback is not the simple transmission of information from teacher to learner.

  • What the teacher said
  • What you could do about it
  • Areas that weren’t commented on
  • What to ask to the teacher
  1. You can create some kind of forum so a question (and, of course, your answer) benefits to the entire class. Google Groups is great for that.
  2. Get a backchannel with Yoteach.
  3. Create your own social media just for your class thanks to Qwiqr.

Documentation

If you need help with any of these aforementioned applications, visit one these links:

To learn more

Want to know what is feedback? Want to learn more about effective feedback? Have you heard about flash feedback? Watch or read any of the documents below.

Examples of feedback

Wouldn’t it be great if teachers all agreed about what to say to help students overcome difficulties? And wouldn’t it be awesome if responding to students wasn’t time-consuming at all? If all students knew what to expect?

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Yann Houry

Yann Houry

Teacher and Director of Academic Research & Innovation @ Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill