There are quite a few apps that allow students to leave quality comments for instant feedback to classmates’ projects, work samples or blog responses. Tools such as Google Classroom, Flipgrid, and Seesaw allow students to post their work and receive instant feedback from their teachers and classmates, providing them with an authentic audience. Timely feedback is extremely important for student learning. However, the quality of the feedback is equally as important.
We need to teach students HOW to leave quality feedback for their classmates in order for it to be effective. Simply stating, “Good job!” is not enough.
Students must learn to dig deeper and write comments that help their classmates expand their ideas.
What should be included in digital feedback?
- Compliments: We all know that before we start offering any constructive feedback, we should compliment the author on what was done well before offering suggestions. Model this concept by teaching students to start their feedback with phrases such as “I like how you….” or “It was helpful how you…”
- New Information: After starting a post with a friendly compliment, it is helpful to then offer connections, questions or new information not mentioned in the post. Did the author forget to mention a certain part that may be useful. Model adding new information by sharing phrases such as “This reminds me of the time when…” or “Another idea could be….”
- Digital Citizenship: Students are quick to share personal information such as phone numbers, family details or thoughts about school. Or, they may be overly critical of their classmates. We must remember to teach students digital citizenship during our daily lessons. We know we want students to revise and edit their ideas, but it is equally important to remind students not to post any personal information online such as family circumstances or health issues and also obviously any words that may be offensive.
- Editing/Revising: The world of texting has definitely impacted the quality of digital responses. Students must spell-check and proofread before responding. We often teach students to revise their formal papers, but we should also remind them to go back and revise and edit their feedback to peers.
The following infographic may be helpful for teaching or revisiting key points.
What Should Students Do After the Feedback?
Often, students receive feedback and that is the end of the learning experience. Students must have time to:
- Respond: Have a discussion with their teachers and/or classmates.
- Review: Was the feedback useful? Can they make changes?
- Reflect: How did the feedback help the student learn? What would they do differently next time? What goals can they set for themselves?
How do you teach your students to write a quality comment?