When it comes to online learning, there is no face-to-face interaction between learners and their instructors as commonly found in a traditional classroom setting or training rooms in a company. This is one of the reasons why feedback is the most important part of online learning because learners need to know if they are performing well and whether or not they are effectively moving towards their goals.
Feedback also assumes relevance for online course providers as well as they need to know whether or not their efforts are paying off, that is, whether or not their learning or training materials are actually effective. This is why feedback is extremely meaningful for both online learners and course creators. With that in mind, take a look at the most crucial reasons why feedback matters in online learning.
Why Is Feedback Important for Online Learners?
Giving feedback to online learners is essential because it gives them a clear insight into their progress. Constructive feedback provides them with useful advice and suggestions for positive change, which they can use to improve their knowledge, skills and successfully complete their online course.
If a learner is not doing so great in some areas, effective feedback can help them understand how to perform better and get the most out of their learning or training materials. On the other hand, if they are putting up good performance they should be informed about that as well because it will motivate them to keep learning and push harder towards the course completion.
Feedback allows online learners to stop and reflect on their work, assessing their progress and identifying any potential areas for improvement. This is why feedback should not merely inform the learners about their success or failure, but rather explain exactly why they have succeeded or failed. It needs to be educational if it is going to be effective and lead to positive outcomes.
Another vital reason why feedback matters so much in online learning is motivation. Without proper motivation, even the best course takers could become disengaged after a while. Their efforts need to be recognized and appreciated because that will lift their spirits and engage them more in their learning.
However, the motivational role of feedback matters the most to those who are not performing very well. Their efforts should never be ignored because they need to be motivated to work harder. Meaningful and constructive feedback will engage them again, improve their self-esteem, and point them in the right direction towards reaching their maximum potential.
Just as instructor feedback is essential for online learners’ improvement, so is peer-to-peer feedback vital for their effective progress. Communicating with peers in real-time enables online learners to give and receive useful and encouraging feedback.
They can review and analyze each other’s work and guide one another towards achieving their goals in a timely and effective manner. They can collaborate and inspire teamwork, which not only can improve their skills and knowledge, but also help them prepare better for real-life situations.
Working together as a team significantly increases engagement and greatly improves knowledge retention. Also, people feel much more comfortable discussing their progress with their peers than discussing it with their instructors, which is why peer-to-peer feedback can be very constructive.
However, this definitely doesn’t mean that instructor feedback is less important or less effective because it can absolutely provide insightful information and help online learners take the right path to success.
Why Is Learner Feedback Important for Online Course Creators?
Just as online learners can greatly benefit from feedback they receive, the course creators can also bag advantage from receiving learner feedback. By providing online course creators with information regarding their learning or training materials (exercises, various tasks, quizzes and tests), online learners can help improve the effectiveness of the courses.
You certainly want to make all of your courses engaging and educational, not to mention motivational. However, it doesn’t mean that they are as motivational and engaging as your learners would want them to be. This is why you need to gather their feedback on a regular basis so that you can know exactly how you can improve your learning or training materials and make your every online course effective.
As a result, you will improve the learning experience of your course takers and enable them to achieve their goals faster.
Use of elearning authoring tools for receiving feedback
What can help you create content for your online courses and gather meaningful feedback from your learners is a good and reliable eLearning authoring tool. With the best eLearning software, not only can you easily create online documentation (knowledge bases, wikis, guides, manuals, FAQs), but you can also collaborate with your teams.
With eLearning software and authoring tools, you can track the progress of your learners and proactively gather important feedback for improving all of your efforts. eLearning software and authoring tools usually have built-in rating surveys for capturing user feedback and measuring their engagement which is useful.
A good eLearning authoring tool will also enable you to create context-sensitive help that can provide your online learners with some very useful tips for their learning or training. You can create tooltips, lightboxes and pop-ups that will provide informative clues for a better understanding of the course content.
It is clear that meaningful and effective feedback can have numerous benefits for both online learners and the instructors. Therefore, in order to make sure that your courses are effective and that you help your learners improve their skills and performance, you need to make sure that you provide them with valuable feedback and encourage them to do the same.
Take the first step towards achieving that by utilizing the best eLearning software and creating effective course materials. It will also be the first step towards giving and receiving positive feedback that will definitely do wonders for both you and your online learners.
Author Bio :
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & elearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.
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