Feedback between teachers and students has always been an essential part of the educational process, allowing both parties to make the most of the learning experience. If you are teaching in a virtual classroom, however, you may find that the traditional ways of exchanging feedback are no longer ideal or accessible. What before came naturally in person doesn’t so easily occur in a remote learning setting.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide for collecting and providing feedback in the virtual classroom. Teachers and students alike can benefit from these simple methods for exchanging feedback and improving their classroom experience.
5 ways to exchange feedback with virtual students
Whether you are new to the world of eLearning or you have years of experience with online tutoring, you can incorporate these four best practices into your own strategy for fostering the exchange of feedback in the virtual classroom:
1. Learn the tools of your virtual classroom platform
If you are using an advanced virtual classroom, such as HiClass by HiLink, you have likely several “EdTech” tools at your disposal to facilitate the exchange of feedback with your students. HiLink features easy-to-use virtual polling, for example, that teachers can use to quickly gather opinions on their lectures, exams and more.
Online teaching platforms also often provide instant messaging and breakout room features that give teachers and students the opportunity to communicate with each other without hassle.
2. Share feedback through audio/video messages or screen sharing
Especially depending on the subject matter, feedback can be difficult to give and comprehend when it’s only in written form. Educators may find better success in tutoring students by recording short messages, allowing students to hear and/or see what you are communicating.
Screen sharing is another great way to exchange virtual feedback. Math and IT educators, for example, can use dual screen sharing to allow online collaboration with students and exchange immediate feedback with one another. Another beneficial feature is a collaborative virtual whiteboard where teachers and students together can draw or type out any equation, sketch or other abstract images with ease.
3. Create a routine that encourages students to give feedback
The virtual classroom provides a wonderful place to hold official classroom meetings, organize student-to-student collaboration and, what’s more, create an ongoing routine for collecting student feedback. Easy methods, for example, include running quick polls at the end of classes or exams to request feedback from students via the online teaching platform.
Another option is to hold regular office hours through the online teaching platform. Office availability is particularly important for students who may at any time have experienced technical difficulty during the original class time.
Classroom polls and video chats are simple to set up when you work with an EdTech platform.
4. Encourage students to offer peer-to-peer feedback
Student interaction and classroom engagement is important to foster even in a virtual learning setting. Whether you incorporate peer feedback into your students’ grades or you simply encourage them to help one another improve, a teacher’s role in creating a cooperative environment cannot be overstated. Be sure to remember this essential aspect of feedback in the educational process when implementing methods for collecting and providing feedback in the virtual classroom.
5. Explain what you are doing to address student feedback
If you are transparent about the ways you are working to improve for your students, you can make it clear that feedback is an important part of your educational process and encourage students to take part.
What are the characteristics of good educator feedback?
Feedback from a teacher is only effective if the student is provided that feedback in such a way that is supportive and clear. A few characteristics that make good feedback include:
The best feedback is given in a timely manner. Constructive criticism on an assignment or exam needs to be provided while the task is still fresh in both the student’s and the teacher’s minds. While days can certainly be taken to properly prepare for a feedback report, several weeks or months should not go by before you begin the feedback phase.
Generic feedback that is announced to all students, whether it’s in the virtual classroom or through an email blast, can be helpful, but it should not be regarded as sufficient when considering the necessity of student-teacher feedback. Students need personalized, one-on-one communication with their educators in which they receive specific feedback on their own work and progress.
When providing feedback to a student, it’s best to offer ways the student can actively improve. By providing steps the student can take to progress in their education, you will give them a clear path toward a better understanding of the subject matter.
Make online teaching better with the HiLink virtual classroom
Not every online teaching platform is built the same. HiLink offers the best online classroom technology for teachers and students that need highly interactive, easy collaboration tools that make virtual learning and student engagement easy. To see a custom demo or ask any questions, start your free trial today and find out more about how HiLink will customize our HiLink Platform to support your organization's specific requirements.