Online learning is becoming more and more popular by the day. With the changing times, it too has become imperative for us to adapt our learning and teaching methods accordingly. Passive in-person pedagogies fail to address the learning challenges of remote learning and tend to isolate learners. Hence, students end up demotivated and underperform during online classes. Thankfully, Feedback-based learning is a great way to shake off the spell of boredom and to make remote learning fun.
What is Feedback based learning?
Feedback-based learning -AKA- FBL, is a sort of active learning strategy that requires instructors and fellow classmates to engage with each other and give feedback for the performance.
Feedbacks are generally of two kinds: Positive feedback that is based around appreciation, and negative feedback also referred to as constructive criticism which is based on helping others see any lacks in their performance.
In Peer Review, FBL is a critical component. The idea behind Peer Review is that peers come together and give feedback on their classmates' performance. Consequently, learners develop evaluative skills which enable them to see things more independently and critically.
Benefits of Feedback-based learning
Improves academic performance
Since FBL requires learners to engage with the content and each other actively. Hence, students focus more on learning new concepts. They grasp new concepts easily and retain them for longer periods. Researches show that students who engage in active learning perform 1.5 times better academically. This is since learners receive greater personalized attention and hence are better able to see the areas they struggle with.
Promotes collaboration over competition
We see how students are forced into a rat race where they must compete against each other for first place. This system is clearly flawed as it pitches people against each other. Consequently, students end up focusing more on securing the first position rather than learning. Peer Review FBL is a concept that demands students to work as a unit and help each other. When there is less competition and less anxiety about securing places, learners feel at ease and automatically end up performing better.
Greater personalized attention
As mentioned above, with this approach, each and every student gets greater and a more personalized form of help. Where the instructor may not be able to attend to, fellow classmates come to the rescue. Moreover, greater personalized attention also results in greater individual accountability. Students feel the need to improve their performance even more so that the collaborative effort of the class is not affected.
Feedback-based learning is scalable
Often the problem course creators or instructors in general feel is that certain learning strategies are only effective for a particular number of students. Rarely is there is a strategy that works for any number of learners. FBL is one such scalable strategy. You can effectively apply it to tens of hundreds of students. Obviously with a few tweaks here and there for adjustments.
Best feedback-based learning strategies
Peer review is a common practice in academia. Experts review each others' work and give remarks for approval and improvement. Similarly, in learning as well, peers respond to each others' queries and give suggestions for any improvement. It takes the load off the teachers and pushes students to think from a reviewer's perspective. Thus making them critical thinkers.
First developed in 1971, the Jigsaw method has been in use ever since. In it, a group of students is broken up into smaller groups and assigned each a specific topic to learn thoroughly. Then every group shares the information with the other groups.
Remember how back in schools our instructors would make us work in pairs? This strategy is using the same technique. Students work in pairs and are responsible to help each other with any problems. At the end of the exercises, students then share the contents of their learning with the rest of the class.
Discussion boards work just like Facebook walls except they are a form of learning technique. Here students post any comment, question, or remark and others respond to them there and then. Similar to Reddit but for real learning 😉.
How to successfully apply feed-back based learning?
The effectiveness of feedbacks depends on how direct and to-the-point they are. Words have a funny way of getting misinterpreted and losing meaning. This is why one must be precise to ensure that the desired message gets across to the recipient.
Be quick with the responses
Time is a crucial element of feedbacks. Therefore, one mustn't delay giving the feedbacks as they tend to be moment-specific. And when the moment is lost, so is the purpose of that feedback. That is to say, hit the iron when it is hot.
Map out clear goals
As instructors, it is necessary that you clearly map out the goals for the course. This way learners will have a direction to work towards and apply the feedback accordingly. Moreover, they will also know better how to give effective feedback to fellow peers.
Present feedback clearly
To ensure that the feedback is effective, pay due attention to the way you deliver and present it. If you come off as harsh, the recipient will shrug it away and not pay much heed to it. If you present it more casually, it will also meet a similar fate. Hence, find a balance when it comes to delivering the feedback to make sure the other person really listens to it.
Have two-way discussions
One thing unique and intrinsic to collaborative learning strategies like FBL is that they require equal participation from both teachers and learners. Unlike the traditional teaching methodology where the teacher delivers and students receive, here both serve both functions. This is what makes FBL more engaging and effective than traditional learning.
Teachfloor - the ultimate FBL tool
Just like paying attention to the above-outlined tip for the successful application of FBL, it is also important that you carefully select your LMS. One that supports such a learning methodology and has the necessary features to run it.
Teachfloor is one such Cohort-learning LMS that pays special attention to collaborative learning. This is why it already comes with features of Peer Review and Discussion Boards. Moreover, it also has Zoom integration for those seamless live group learning. You can take up further by using Zoom for break-out room sessions for the Jigsaw method.
For instructors, there is an additional feature of an analytics dashboard to keep track of student performance and participation. Along with that, teachers can also invite guest speakers with Teachfloor's multi-instructor feature. For a thorough look at Teachfloor's features, click here 👈🏽.