Decide how will you give feedback on students progress during the semester

By Michelle D. Miller, Professor of Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University

Stacey M. Johnson, CFT Assistant Director, Vanderbilt

Edited for McNeese Faculty, Dr. Wendi Prater, Director of eLearning

How will you give students feedback on their progress? Consider how students will be able to practice the key skills and objec­tives you want them to get out of the course — things they would normally do in class. How will you give them the opportunities for practice and feedback, for both small-stakes and high-stakes assignments? Undoubted­ly those opportunities will be different from what they were before you moved the class online. Just be sure that it’s very clear how students can access those opportunities.

And if you don’t spend much class time having students practice and receiving feedback, now may be a good time to increase that aspect of your course — given that you might not be pre­senting content in person. For example:

  • If students would have been developing their skills in analyzing and synthesizing assigned readings via in-class discussion, perhaps they could do that online using collaborative annotation of the text.
  • Or, if you’d normally have students prac­tice by attempting to answer questions in an interactive in-person lecture, pres­ent a version of those questions in online discussion forums or quizzes, and offer feedback on their responses.

Create quizzes as check-ins. If there are typically independent homework assignments after the lecture, giving students a way to check in and make sure that they are progressing on the homework can be useful. Create a short, low-stakes quiz after each homework assignment and then add a combination of True/False, multiple choice, and other objective questions to ensure that your students are getting what they need from the homework assignment. For this type of quiz, err on the side of shorter and lower stakes. This is not a test of student knowledge, just a check-in to let the instructor and student see progress.

Finally, schedule with Microsoft Teams or BigBlueButton a virtual classroom meeting for regular office hours or Q&A sessions where students can talk one-on-one or in small groups with a Teaching Assistant (TA) or the professor. Creating one separate module just for virtual classroom meetings might help your students locate these more easily.  After you create the virtual classroom meeting in either Microsoft Teams or BigBlueButton, add the activities or meeting URLs to the module. Then, on the day and time of the meeting, click on the meeting you want the students to join. Adding activities and URL links in your course that will take students directly to the meeting room. Consider creating a link for each one of the virtual classroom meetings you plan to hold during the semester.