How to give and receive eLearning Feedback
An integral part of the educational experience, particularly within eLearning environments, is feedback. For eLearning professionals, meaningful feedback offers a wide range of advantages. Not only it allows learners to get the most out of the eLearning courses and modules, but it also ensures that eLearning professionals have the constructive criticism they need to improve upon their deliverables. In many respects, an effective eLearning feedback process can transform any eLearning course into a resounding success for everyone involved.
Top 5 Tips for Giving eLearning Feedback
- Provide timely and constructive eLearning feedback.
It's important to offer learners feedback as soon as possible, so that the learner can clearly identify which behaviors or skill sets need to be improved. Ideally, you'll want to provide feedback while the eLearning course is still in progress, in order to give the learner an opportunity to actually act upon the constructive criticism or helpful input that you have offered. By doing this, learners are better able to see, first hand, how improvements can have a direct impact on the learning process and/or on its results.
- Show real world implications to encourage change.
Showing the learners how their actions or behaviors relate directly to the real world is one of the most effective forms of eLearning feedback. This can be done for example, through branching scenarios that display the real world implications that are produced by the learner's choices. This will enable learners to learn from their mistakes and to correct them in a safe environment, rather than on-the-job. They can then change their behaviors based upon the result of their actions in order to fully benefit from the eLearning process.
- Focus on skills or behaviors that can be altered.
When offering eLearning feedback, it's important to only concentrate on behaviors, actions, or skills that can be changed or improved upon. You should also offer suggestions and alternatives for these behaviors, so that the learners can not only learn where they went wrong, but also learn how they can fix it moving forward. For example, you could incorporate alternative solutions to a problem if the learner has chosen an inappropriate path during a scenario, or offer more beneficial ways to approach an issue.
- Encourage group eLearning feedback through collaborative exercises.
Group activities can enable learners to benefit from the experience and skill sets of their peers. They can correct one another's mistakes, discuss alternative answers to the problem at hand, and offer invaluable feedback, even if they aren't in face-to-face learning environments. Online chats, message boards, and social media are ideal platforms that you can integrate into your eLearning course structure in order to take advantage of group feedback.
- Tie eLearning feedback into objectives and goals.
One of the most valuable eLearning feedback tips that I can offer is to tie the feedback into the goals or objectives of the eLearning course or module. Let the learners know how adjusting behaviors or improving upon their learning habits will benefit them. For example, if the eLearning course is designed to develop sales skills, emphasize how doing something differently can lead to better sales figures or enhanced customer satisfaction.
Top 4 Tips for receiving eLearning Feedback
- Encourage learners to participate in surveys.
One of the most direct and effective ways to receive eLearning feedback is to provide learners with the chance to complete surveys or online questionnaires. Create questions that will allow you to gauge their overall experience or pinpoint areas that may need to be fine tuned. Make them aware of the fact that their feedback is invaluable and even offer an incentive if learners are reluctant to fill out an online survey, such as a discount on future eLearning courses or entry into a company sponsored raffle.
- Ask new learners to test drive the eLearning course/module.
Bring in new learners who haven't taken the course before and ask them to test it out for you. Better yet, observe them as they navigate through the eLearning course and ask questions. Let them know that you are open to feedback and that you want their honest opinion about the layout, design, content, and graphics. Ask them if there were any pages that were difficult to navigate or challenging to understand. These unbiased new learners will provide you with the rare opportunity to see your eLearning course with fresh eyes, so that you can identify weak points and remedy any issues that may compromise the effectiveness of your eLearning course.
- Quizzes and exams provide invaluable insight.
Integrate a quiz or exam at the end of each eLearning module. This will not only enable learners to assess their own progress, but it will offer you some great feedback. For example, if you discover that fifty percent of the learners didn't pass a quiz at the end of module three, then this may prompt you to reassess the difficulty level of this section, or even how you are delivering the key pieces of information. On the other hand, if only a small percentage of learners are having difficulty with this section, then you can focus on giving them the feedback or extra training they'll need to succeed.
- Target areas of concern when asking for eLearning feedback.
If your eLearning course has a specific area of concern, such as a module that you believe may be too long or too text-heavy, then custom tailor your survey questions to see how you can make improvements. Ask learners if they feel they benefited from the module, how they would rate their experience, and if they have any suggestions on how you can make it more effective moving forward.
Want to learn more about how to get the constructive feedback you need to fine-tune online corporate training and/or eLearning courses? The article Improving The Training Resource Review Process features tips that will allow you to get more out of the training resource review process, so that you can receive meaningful feedback for your eLearning deliverables.
Last but not least, if you've been on the fence as to whether focus groups are worth to be incorporated into your eLearning development strategy, I highly encourage you to check the 6 Reasons To Use Focus Groups in eLearning.