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How to Give Effective Feedback to an Individual in a Large Class
Teaching a large class of students is challenging for any instructor. The problem with large classes is the lack of individual attention each student receives. When students do not receive feedback from their teacher, they can easily feel discouraged or confused about personal progress in the class. Teachers need to provide effective feedback to students throughout the course of the year to ensure students are aware of their progress and the areas where they need improvement.
Use Small Assignments for Feedback
Collecting a written assignment in class about a theory, idea or question related to the subject will allow teachers the opportunity to review student opinions and understanding of the material. According to Cornell University, a simple way to provide individual feedback is by working with this kind of small assignment.
Cornell University suggests using one assignment for every four or five students to carefully review and provide individual feedback about the student’s progress and understanding. With every assignment, teachers can offer effective feedback to different students until the entire class has received at least one assignment with feedback on it.
By working on a rotation system that provides feedback to part of the class, teachers can effectively guide every individual in a large class. This system offers personalized feedback without overwhelming instructors with class materials and assignments.
Before collecting papers, Cornell University suggests explaining the feedback responses to avoid confusion among students. By explaining how the assessment is provided, instructors will prevent resentment in students who have not yet received feedback.
Write Commentary on Large Projects
A large class can complicate the ability to provide effective feedback to an individual, but large assignments offer an opportunity to give further information to students. According to the Australian Association for Research in Education, written comments about an assignment help students determine where they did well, areas to improve and any further advice a teacher can provide.
By assigning projects and leaving a comment with the grade, teachers are able to connect to individuals in a large class and offer personalized advice about improvements, successes or expectations for the next projects. Effective feedback must incorporate some advice students can use in the future. If teachers neglect feedback, then the students become discouraged and might not perform as well on the next project.
Although a comment can provide effective feedback, teachers need to ensure it is personalized and will reach out to the student. The large projects are a great opportunity because the amount of time spent grading each assignment allows an instructor to identify individual challenges in writing, knowledge or understanding of material in the classroom.
Make Use of Internet Tools
The use of the Internet in the classroom has made it possible to provide individualized feedback to questions and concerns during times out of class. It also prevents the complication of spending more time providing effective feedback to one individual at the expense of other students.
According to the Frontiers in Education Conference, teachers can set up an email system and online tools that provide feedback to student questions, concerns or comments that the entire class can view as due dates for assignments become closer. By providing an email address and then offering feedback shortly after questions are asked over the Internet, teachers are offering fast responses and effective feedback to an individual.
Since the Internet allows teachers to show the question and response to the entire class, it also prevents repeat questions from surfacing and offers feedback about expectations to all of the students. It is an effective tool to ensure all students are able to obtain answers to questions without showing individual favoritism or risking the needs of other students.
When using Internet tools, teachers can use an anonymous system or offer the name of students who ask questions. Both options are effective tools to provide feedback to individuals, though anonymity might appeal to some students in a large class.
Offering information to students is an important part of helping improve their grades and performance. Teachers need to provide effective feedback to individuals, even if the class is large and it is difficult to talk to every student on a regular basis. By working out a system that provides feedback to every member of the class, teachers are providing details about their expectations and ensuring all students are able to succeed.