When giving authentic, effective feedback, the online instructor wants to use a variety of online tools to keep the message motivational and relevant but not nagging. There are times for generalized praise, as in the examples here:
However, the following three tools will help the virtual teacher to provide personalized commentary, which will help students reflect how their work compares to the course objectives.
“Voice Recorder” on computer or smart phone.
Audio commentary is a powerful method since the student hears the teacher’s voice, tone, and inflection when critiquing the assignment. Intent and emphasis are more easily understood by students when they can hear a teacher’s voice, plus being able to hear the teacher’s voice reinforces the teacher-student relationship.
A text cloud helps students visualize the frequency of words within a text. If the teacher wants to assess a discussion, then he/she can copy and paste selected posts (or all of them) and create a Wordle. A text cloud displays a summary of their discussion in a creative way. The resulting image could start further conversation. Below is an example created from a discussion forum discussion the use of “This” in Emily Dickinson’s poem “I dwell in Possibility” (466) http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182904
At first your Wordle may look like this:
But by deleting the unrelated words (words copied from the discussion forum module like “votes,” “flag,” and “comment”) and specific names (unless you find it beneficial to highlight those who contributed the most), you can form a more accurate summary of the discussion:
The teacher could then annotate and post the image to praise the whole class:
An eye-catching graph helps students reflect on their own progress as it relates to the rest of the class. Piktochart is my favorite website for making infographics. It’s free, simple, and offers many ways to customize the work. A teacher could import class data from an assessment, add a message, take a screenshot, and email it or include it in the newsletter. Piktochart also allows multiple charts and graphs, so teachers could design a mid-semester report displaying several assignment grades. Then teachers could require students use it to reflect on their effort and progress in the course.