Tips for writing online feedback
o If possible, share your own experiences; this will make you seem more human and it will show your students that you’re not only there for them a regards content. This way you can personalize your contact with your student.
o Always start with positive points and specify very clearly what is good and why it is good.
o Next, explain how the points for improvement can be handled. Never call these ‘points of criticism’. If a student follows a wrong reasoning or makes mistakes in an exercise, you point to those in a polite but clear way.
o Your students are helped with a positive pragmatic feedback: “you did this part very well”; this is definitely the case for students suffering from fear of failure. This motivates students to continue and stimulates their self-confidence.
o Also have a look at the feedback from others on your own tasks/functioning and investigate which feedback was the most effective and why. Also take a look at the feedback of your colleagues. You learn a lot from this.
o Do not send given feedback immediately to students. It is better to have a second look at it before sending it. The risk of electronic feedback is that it is written down quickly and that the approach is sometimes too narrow. This might intimidate your student.
o The feedback should match the proficiency level of your student. You cannot formulate the feedback for a beginner in a same way as for an advanced user. Also the types of mistakes you provide feedback on, is linked to the level of your student!
o An e-coach needs to be able to read between the lines. Sometimes your student wants to say more than what is literally written.
o Encourage your students to think outside the content of your course. Critical thinking encourages other students to join in and to learn together.
o End with an encouraging message. This is motivating!