Create An Effective Constructive Feedback System For eLearning: 7 Points To Consider
A constructive feedback system allows you to give and receive feedback in your eLearning course. You can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your eLearning strategy, gather invaluable insight from your audience, and offer your online learners the support they need to improve their performance. But how do you develop an effective constructive feedback system that gives your learners a forum where they can be heard in asynchronous learning courses that do not involve face-to-face instruction?
- Identify the primary goals for your constructive feedback system.
Before developing your constructive feedback system in eLearning you must have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve. For example, are you trying to identify the strengths and weakness of a particular eLearning program? Do you want to get an honest opinion about your latest interactive scenario? Are you trying to offer your online learners a place to address their concerns and voice their opinions? Identifying your goals will also give you the opportunity to determine how you want to gather the feedback and who you will ask. For example, if you are trying to improve a customer service online training program, you might invite the customer service and sales staff to give their input.
- Be clear to avoid dreaded feedback confusion.
When giving your learners constructive feedback in eLearning, it is essential to be as clear as possible to avoid frustration and confusion. Let your audience know exactly what they need to improve and how they can go about doing it. You may even want to offer them supplemental learning resources, such as online articles or eLearning videos. In terms of gathering feedback, your questions should clearly articulate why you are collecting feedback and what you need to know.
- Include Subject Matter Experts in the constructive feedback loop.
Subject Matter Experts are an essential part of your constructive feedback system in eLearning. Not only can they offer insight into the strengths and weakness of your eLearning course, but they can also provide learners with information they need to expand their comprehension. Try to involve them as much as possible and let them know that you value their experience and expertise in the field. If you are conducting a focus group, invite your Subject Matter Expert to sit in and ask questions of their own. You can also encourage them to create their questions for your survey, so that they are better able to customize the eLearning content based upon the expectations of your audience.
- Choose a feedback platform that is both familiar and intuitive.
The feedback platform you choose should be familiar to your audience and easy to use. If they are not familiar with the feedback platform, then you may want to offer them a brief tutorial or walkthrough on how to use the tool. For example, if you are relying on an online survey program to handle all of your constructive feedback in eLearning, then you should give your online learners the information they need to access the necessary documents. Ask your learners about which methods they prefer or, better yet, do some research to figure out which platforms they are already using. If you discover that most of your audience is using using Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis, then consider starting a page for the eLearning course and inviting learners to weigh in on the thread online discussions.
- Stress the importance of actionable constructive feedback.
Every member of your audience should have no doubt in their minds that their opinion matters. This is, ultimately, achieved by cultivating a supportive eLearning culture. They must know that their personal experience and insight can make a difference, and that you are willing and ready to take their ideas and thoughts into consideration. There is a caveat to this, however. You should be stressing the importance of actionable constructive feedback. There may be some issues that simply do not have a solution and cannot be changed. The same rule applies to giving constructive feedback. Only offer constructive criticism and genuine feedback for things that can realistically be improved or modified.
- Opt for anonymity to receive honest constructive feedback.
If you are finding that your audience is less-than thrilled about giving their honest opinions, you may want to consider an anonymous survey or questionnaire. They won’t have to provide any personal information and can feel free to share their ideas and thoughts without being judged. This is especially useful if you are trying to fine tune your eLearning course or instructional design strategy. Learners are much more likely to give invaluable constructive feedback if they know that it won’t be held against them later on.
- Remember that constructive feedback may come in many forms.
Surveys and focus groups are just two of the many ways you can gather constructive feedback for eLearning. In fact, there are a variety of online tools and platforms that you can use to give and receive feedback in eLearning. Even an eLearning scenario or simulation can offer your learners the constructive feedback they need to make improvements. Every action they take leads to a consequence. Every decision takes them down a different path. They can immediately determine if their choices led to favorable outcomes, or if they may need to learn about the topic to achieve their goals.
Constructive feedback is a two-way street that benefits both eLearning professionals and online learners. For everyone to reap the rewards, however, you must ensure that there is a solid and consistent constructive feedback system in place. Use these 7 tips to create and cultivate a feedback loop that offers maximum benefit for all parties involved.
Interested in learning more about how to give constructive feedback to your online learners? Read the article 6 Ways To Give Constructive Feedback In eLearning to discover 6 ways to ensure that your online learners get the constructive feedback they need and the attention they deserve.