Giving feedback online

Classroom management
Giving feedback in Zoom classes
Four great ideas for giving inclusive feedback on controlled practice activities online.

So you've given your learners a controlled practice activity, a gap fill task or a matching activity, and you want to get feedback on that. What's the problem with doing it this way?

Akram, what’s the answer to number 1?
Maryam, number two?
Mahboobeh number three?

This kind of lockstep approach means that only one person in the class is involved at any one time, which means that the other learners are probably not very engaged. And as a teacher, you don't know if everybody's understood. I love face to face teaching. But in this particular area, there are some definite advantages in teaching online because you can get all of the learners more involved. Want four great ideas for how to do this. Keep watching. I'm Jo Gakonga, from ELT and this is another in my free CELTA toolkit series.

Idea number one - using the chat box. Using the chat box is a great idea because it means everybody can contribute at the same time. What's the answer to number one?Post it in the chat, you can see what everybody's got. What's the answer to number two? Everybody can contribute again. If you want to avoid the faster typists getting the answers in first always, especially if you've got longer answers that perhaps need a bit of text typed, then you can just say to them, please type in the chat box, but don't post it until I say. So give them a little bit of time. And then ask them to all post at the same time.

Idea number two - use the annotation feature. The annotation feature on zoom or on other platforms can be really helpful. And it's worth making sure, spending a bit of time making sure, that all your learners know how to use it. If they've done that, for example, if you've got a matching task, you can get everybody to draw on the board for the answers. This has the advantage that the feedback is anonymous. We don't know who got it wrong. But as a teacher, you've got a good idea of how many of your learners did understand. This is also great for highlighting 'either/or' type of questions if you've got a choice or multiple choice type of questions.

Idea number three - use the text annotate feature. Another great idea if you've got text, where you've got gap fills or smaller bits of text to fill in, is to give individual learners individual questions to do. So you've got an exercise here with five gaps.

Mohammed - you do number 1, Marzie, number 2, Nilofar, number 3, Farzad, number 4 – go!

Idea number four - use a shared Google Doc. So finally, if you've given them a control practice activity, or actually even a free practice activity where they've got to produce some writing, then do it on a shared Google Doc. They can all work on one document at the same time, even if they're working individually or in pairs in breakout rooms. You can just give them the same link to one document. You could use Google docs for this or Google Jamboard or any other kind of shared document. This is great because as a teacher, you can monitor everybody's work at the same time. You can highlight areas of difficulties for them to self-correct as they're going along. And at the end of the activity, you can draw it all back for group feedback and perhaps peer correction on some of the language that's problematic, or praise for some of the language which is good.

So there you go. Four ideas for giving good feedback, including everybody in an online environment. I hope they're helpful. Thanks for watching. Bye bye
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