Byte-sized Canvas: It’s Time to Rethink Feedback


Welcome to Byte-sized Canvas! I’m Helen Graves and I think it’s time
for us to talk about feedback. Instructor presence is crucial
to student success, especially in an online learning environment. A study done by Hiltz and Shea (2005) found that “Interaction with the teacher is the most significant contributor to perceived learning.” Providing consistent, meaningful feedback
is a huge part of bringing your presence into the course and interacting with your students. As luck would have it, Canvas offers a number
of ways you can support your students with meaningful feedback. Starting with a strong and carefully considered rubric is a great way to give feedback even
before students begin working on an assignment or discussion. The more clearly you define your expectations,
the easier it is for students to match them. Adding customized feedback to quiz questions allows you to give targeted feedback based
on a specific student response. For example, this question offers positive
and encouraging feedback for correct answers. With this response, the student is directed
to a resource to help them determine why their answer was incorrect. I love how easy it is to engage with students
by customizing your feedback reply to match the specific error a student made with their
answer choice. Here’s a little tip. There’s a separate edit icon for both the
answer and for the feedback. Once you’ve edited them and clicked “done,”
be sure to also click both “Update Question” AND the
all-important blue Save button. Otherwise, your changes won’t be saved. (I learned that the hard way!) I won’t lie. This can be a somewhat time-consuming
thing to set up. But the long-term payoff is worth it. My suggestion would be to chunk the task into
manageable pieces. Pick one class and do one quiz each week. And of course, Speedgrader has a wealth of tools for providing feedback. For this essay draft assignment, I’ve got
the rubric I created when I set up the assignment. One little trick is to pull the window over
so you can view the whole rubric and the document. The rubric allows me to click the appropriate
cell to quickly grade the work. I can leave specific feedback on a particular
criterion or I can go down here to leave more general feedback about the assignment as a whole. What’s so cool here are all my choices. I can do written feedback. I can add an attachment, if I want to share
an example or resource with the student. I can do video or audio feedback. I have the option of recording right in Canvas,
or I can record elsewhere, like Screencast-o-matic, and then upload it or include a link to it
in the Comments box. If you tried giving audio/video feedback before
and were disappointed with the interface, try it again. Canvas had ditched the Flash plugin that used
to be required so you no longer have to mess with add-ins or making all kinds of adjustments
and the end result is great. I can even do voice to text feedback! Hint: you’ll have less to edit if you speak
clearly and at a moderate pace. I can also use the marvelous annotation tools. Watch! When I’m all done, just click Save and Submit. Feedback is, in my opinion
(humble or otherwise ;-)), at least as important as the content you’re teaching. This is where the rubber meets the educational
road and, when done well and done consistently, feedback is both a motivator and a tool for
continued learning. Plus, it hits B2 and B6 of the
OEI Course Design Rubric. That’s it for now. Until next time, this is Helen wishing you
a Canvalicious day!

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