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Feedback, Motivation and the online classroom. Stephanie Oeben FSLT13 Online Conference. Different Kinds of Feedback. Summative Feedback : assessment of the learning; summarizes the development of learners at a particular time

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Feedback motivation and the online classroom

Feedback, Motivation and the online classroom

Stephanie Oeben

FSLT13 Online Conference

Different kinds of feedback
Different Kinds of Feedback

  • Summative Feedback: assessment of the learning; summarizes the development of learners at a particular time

  • Formative Feedback: assessment during the learning process; modifies teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment

    Motivational approach to feedback:

    “[…] letting people know how well they are performing a task acts as an incentive for greater effort in the future.” (Dempsey & Sales, p.4)

Goal orientation or how to reach the best results with the right feedback
Goal Orientation – or how to reach the best results with the right feedback

Performance orientation

Learning Orientation


Strong incentive for learners to gain or improve skills or knowledge

Feedback from the teacher helps the learner to select or favour one goal orientation over another.

Without feedback from the teacher the learner acts according to their preference.

  • Ego-involved

  • Strong incentive for learners to showcase their abilities

(Dempsey & Sales, 1993; Hattie and Timperley, 2007)

Feedback as a technique feedback techniques
Feedback as a technique & Feedback techniques

Feedback assists learners:

  • Improve self awareness; thought patterns and actions can be redirected and strengths and weaknesses can be communicated

  • Enhance self esteem and morale

  • Increase performance

  • Motivation and encouragement

  • Understand that skills are developed through practice

  • Mistakes are not failures, but part of your development

(Hoska, 1993)

Feedback as a technique feedback techniques cont
Feedback as a technique & Feedback techniques [cont.]

Effective and constructive feedback

  • focused on behaviour which can be changed

  • based on observation

  • Objective

  • Given in good time and in private


  • Say what the learner did well and what they can do better

  • ‘Feedback Sandwich’

    • what they feel they should stop doing

    • what they feel they should start doing

    • what they wish to continue doing

Giving and receiving feedback
Giving and Receiving Feedback

Be open to suggestions

Listen carefully

Ask questions about their comments

Be prepared to contribute

Mooc and online learning
MOOC and Online Learning

  • Online students require extra motivation; especially in large courses of several hundred or thousand participants

  • Online feedback must be prompt and not delayed

  • Online course instructors must be sensitive to the issues of an online environment

  • E.g. instructors can:

    • Send private messages to individuals

    • Contact all students through various channels

    • Ask student(s) to relate their learning to their (work/university/etc) experience

(White & Weight, p.63)

Summative and formative feedback online
summative and formative Feedback… Online


“Formative feedback possibly modifies a student’s thinking or behaviour for the purpose of learning, and summative feedback assesses how well a student accomplishes a task or achieves a result for the purpose of grading.”

(White & Weight, p. 168)

Online feedback should be:

  • Multidimensional, supportive, student controlled, consistent, constructive, objective, timely, and specific

  • Formative AND summative

  • Focus on specific behaviour rather than on the online student

  • Direct feedback toward behaviour the online student can change

  • Take the needs of the online student into account

  • Help online students to “own” the feedback

  • Give timely online feedback

  • Check online feedback for clarity

  • Consider online feedback as part of an ongoing relationship (White & Weight, p.173-174)


  • Dempsey, J.V. & Sales, G.C. (1993). Interactive instruction and feedback. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

  • Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research. 77(1). 81-112. London: Sage Publications.

  • Hoska, D.M. (1993). Motivating learners through CBI feedback: Developing a positive learner perspective. In Dempsey, J.V. & Sales, G.C. (Eds.), Interactive instruction and feedback (pp. 105-132). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

  • White, K. W. & Weight, B. H. (2000). The online teaching guide: A handbook of attitudes, strategies and techniques for the virtual classroom. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Further Reading Materials:

  • Bloxham, S. and Boyd, P. 2007. Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

  • Brown, G., Bull, J and Pendlebury, M. 1997. Assessing student learning in Higher Education. London: Routledge.

  • Brown, S. and Knight, P. 1994. Assessing learners in Higher Education. London: Kogan Page.

  • Gibbs, G. and Simpson, C. 2004. Conditions under which assessment supports students' learning. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 1, 3-31.

  • Nicol, D. and Macfarlane-Dick, D. 2006. Rethinking Formative Assessment in HE: a theoretical model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Higher Education Academy.

  • Rust, C., O'Donovan, B and Price, M. 2005. A social constructivist assessment process model: how the research literature shows us this could be best practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education,30 (3), 231-240.

  • Seashore, C.N., Weinberg, G.M. and Seashore, E.W. 2013. What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback [Kindle Edition]. Weinberg & Weinberg.

  • Sadler, R. 1983. Evaluation and the improvement of academic learning. Journal of Higher Education, 54, 60-79.