The 3 Types Of Learner Feedback: Tools And Goals

The 3 Types Of Learner Feedback: Tools And Goals
Summary: In the new reality of coronavirus and online learning, the feedback from learners to teachers is as important as ever. So, learner feedback is what I am going to discuss in this article.

How To Collect Feedback Effectively, When, And Why

There are two types of feedback: from the teacher to the learner and from the learner to the teacher. The first type of feedback is very often talked about, while the second one is mostly left out of attention. However, I believe that in the new reality of coronavirus and online learning the feedback from learners to teachers is as important as ever. So, learner feedback is what I am going to discuss in this article.

What Is Learner Feedback?

Learner feedback is the response of students concerning their learning experience, communication with the instructor and the group, and the complexity and the usefulness of learning material. Once students feel an urge to tell or ask something, they should be able to do so without any fear of being judged or misunderstood. Therefore, the feedback system should be as impersonal as possible. For example, it is always easier to speak your mind in a survey form rather than in a personal email.

Now, from the chronological point of view, there are 3 types of learner feedback given: 1) before, 2) during, and 3) after the class/lecture/online lesson. Each of these feedback types has its own unique goal and needs to be encouraged and facilitated.

1. The “Before” Learner feedback

The Goal

This type of feedback is aimed at preventing issues from occurring or solving them at the easiest stages before they aggravate. The idea here is to let students leave feedback before you even ask them.

Students form an impression about your learning course before it even starts. They look at the general information about the course, learning schedule, your social profile, and create an initial image in their head, which will affect their entire experience. By letting people voice their opinion before the course begins, you have an opportunity to understand the first impression that your course creates, improve it if needed, and do your best to meet expectations.

For example, some students prefer working in small groups rather than in large groups. Let the people tell their preferences in order for you to organize the work better.

The Tools

Firstly, create a chatbot that will pop up in the corner of your website and serve two purposes. 1) It will be used for informational purposes if the learners need to clarify anything. After all, it is always easier to entrust typical questions to a chatbot rather than answering them over and over again 24/7. 2) It will be used to offer feedback. Once users have clarified everything, let the chatbot ask users for their feedback. “How do you like the course so far? Is there anything you would recommend improving?”

Secondly, implement a mood-checker in the form of a survey. Every morning before you have classes, ask your students to fill out the form with questions: “How do you feel today?” “What is your energy level?” “How do you like the course so far?” This will let you keep track of the general mood and atmosphere in the learning group and timely identify any issues.

2. The “During” Learner feedback

The Goal

The purpose of this feedback type is to let students speak their minds on the go. This, in turn, should inspire an atmosphere of transparency and freedom of expression in the learning group. It is very important for the learning experience and outcome.

For example, once you have finished explaining a subtopic, ask your students, “Is everything clear here?” Students should feel that their opinion is welcome at any point in time.

The Tools

This feedback can be received without any tools at all, just ask people to speak their minds while the conversation is going. It is particularly easy to do if you communicate in a traditional classroom via a video conference or a chat.

However, if it is a learning course without any direct communication (for instance, a course delivered via LMS), you can implement a tool similar to Facebook's reactions and comments. Under each learning course, video, article, or test, enable users to leave their reaction or comment. It will be a perfect opportunity for students to ask clarifying questions or express their feelings about learning. This will help you improve your learning plan by taking into account learners’ preferences.

3. The “After” Learner feedback

The Goal

This feedback type is aimed at hearing the thoughts of your learners once they have had some time to process their feelings about your learning course. This is more about long-term learning goals. Are learners happy with your course? Have the learning materials been useful? Have the students actually learned anything? Are they ready to recommend your course to their friends?

For example, if the students feel that there was too much theory and too little practical tasks, they can tell you it only after the lesson. And it is important for you to take it into account for a better learning experience.

The Tools

You can expect students to come to you with their comments and suggestions, but it is a little naive. Instead, initiate this process yourself. The number one tool to use is a feedback survey. Send out a Google or SurveyMonkey form with various questions to better understand User Experience.

You can also use chatbot here, which will pop up with the message, “I hope you enjoy the learning course. Would you like to leave a comment or a suggestion?” Once again, it is easier to leave honest feedback to a chatbot rather than to a person directly.

To Sum Up

There are lots of articles about how to provide feedback. The question of how to collect feedback is often left out of the spotlight, let alone what tools to use for this purpose.

I have tried to illustrate how you can put the effective learner feedback process in place with three custom eLearning solutions: chatbot, reactions and comments, and survey forms. Do not forget to collect feedback at all stages of the learning process and you will be rewarded with the best learning experience and outcome.