My latest #gradhacker posts: student feedback

So, I started thinking I should post here a little bit about what I am posting over at the ol’ Gradhacker.

On Friday, I took on the idea of how technology might facilitate the giving of student feedback:


As a former High School English teacher, I have experienced the overwhelming tsunami of having to provide feedback on a weekly basis to ~150 students. Between that experience and my more recent experiences teaching online students, I’ve thought a lot about providing feedback on student writing and student products.

Before we jump in to resources and tips, I want to make one thing abundantly clear. Providing feedback is not the same as a giving a grade. I subscribe to the Dr. Jeff Grabill school of thinking on this who responded to me once in this way: “Grading is too late for revision feedback.”  So what I mean when I say feedback is that an instructor or peer provides information to the student about the student’s product in a manner that allows the student to then revise the product for the better. So what are some ways to manage the time-consuming task of giving students opportunities to receive feedback?

And today, my former student Nick Sproull, posted on his experience as a student (getting feedback in the course I TA’d for! How fun!):

In early May, my wife, our two small children and I will pack up our serendipitously named 2003 Honda Odyssey and travel 262 miles from our home near Indianapolis to the campus of Michigan State University. There I will proudly don my newest prized possession: my master’s hood. However, unlike many others who will also walk through such a ceremony this spring, this trip is different in that it will be just my third time on campus as 100% of my degree has been completed online.

Some have asked why I would go to the trouble of sitting in a hot gymnasium for two hours only receive a fake diploma. It is a fair question. In part, I want to chronicle the event for my children so that they can see that Daddy likes to learn. But more importantly, and surprising to those who have asked, I feel impelled to take part in the ceremony because I am eager to meet in person the professors with whom I have connected with so well online.

I was so excited to help Nick make his Gradhacker debut. 🙂

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