Episode 39


Duration 00:14:40      Recorded on January 13, 2008

In this show, Susan and Dan jump into the LT GreenRoom to discuss the feedback we provide to our learners. How often do we give them feedback? What form does it take? How well does it serve them? Listen in, and then share some feedback of your own!

Show Notes:

Susan and Dan talk about feedback in this episode. That is, feedback as it relates to learning, not specific to online or any age group.

Dan defines feedback as intentional challenge or encouragement from the teacher.

Susan's definition is useful information that tells a learner whether they are on-track.

When should feedback be given? Depends on task. Think about something that might relate to safety...act quickly! Sooner rather than later seems to be a safe model to follow.

One type of feedback is encouragement (example: encouraging participation).

Challenge: being pushed a little beyond where you are. It could mean being corrected or getting a bad grade.Formative (keep going and 'grow' comments) versus summative (final points and grade) feedback. Summative is usually tied to assessment. Dan thinks formative feedback is more difficult to give because it relates to a learner's motivation. Susan hates grading, loves formative work.

Teachers need to ask students What's useful in feedback. Susan gets that sense through the weekly student reflections.

What are ways teachers give feedback? Nonverbals if you're face to face. Susan is currently using Dragon Naturally Speaking to talk her way through grading papers. It's saving her time.

She also uses audio feedback, recording with Audacity and sending as email. The best known source on this practice is Jeff Sommers' site.

Does Susan have a standardized way of giving feedback online? She generally communicates with each learner personally at the end of a unit. She sends back the rubric with specific comments written in - more detailed early in the term and less so as each learner figures out What's expected.

Dan discusses the importance of giving examples in feedback.

Feel-good grades (A++ Excellent!) don't really help students learn. However, good feedback about what's good can be powerful motivators.

About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
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