4 Tips to Give Helpful Feedback to Your e-Learners

Feedback - 2014 April 24

Learners want feedback—including personalized feedback with explanations and suggestions for improvement—according to a study at Athabasca University. Feedback is especially important in an online training environment, which often gets a bad reputation for being distant
and impersonal.

By providing feedback in your e-Learning course, you can create a personal interaction with learners and improve their knowledge retention. If learners know why they learned something and how it’s relevant, they’ll be more likely to remember and apply that knowledge to their jobs after training is over.

These 4 tips can help you give helpful feedback to your e-Learners:

  1. Be specific with feedback.
    When giving feedback in a quiz, don’t just tell learners an answer was wrong. Tell them why the answer was wrong and why the correct answer is the best choice. Your learners will be much more motivated if they aren’t confused about why they’re doing poorly or how they can improve. For more tips motivating your learners, check out this blog post: 5 Ways to Motivate Your e-Learners.
  2. Include feedback right away.
    Don’t wait until the end of the course to provide all your feedback. Prompt feedback throughout the course allows students to assess existing knowledge and to reflect on what they’ve learned, plus what they still need to learn. It also allows them to take suggestions for improvement, so they can use those suggestions as they’re working through the remainder of the course. One way to give immediate feedback is through checkpoints in an e-Learning game. To learn more about the gamification trend, read this interesting post: Is Gamification More Than Just a Buzzword?
  3. Give genuine praise.
    If you reward your learners with a “Good job!” graphic every time they answer a question, they’re not going feel accomplished by the end of your course. Be honest; if they get a quiz answer wrong, provide the correct answer and an explanation for why. You don’t have to give over-the-top praise for every single question they get right. A quick note of affirmation will be fine—save the big celebration for the end of the course. You can also try using characters to include genuine praise. Here’s how: Using Characters in Your
    Online Training
    .
  4. Ask your learners to give you feedback too.
    Learners appreciate the opportunity to respond to what they liked or didn’t like about your course. At the end of the course, include a survey, so you can find out what you need to improve for next time. Make answers anonymous to ensure you get honest feedback. An end-of-course survey is a great way to help you evaluate your e-Learning course. For more evaluation tips, read this blog post: How to Evaluate Your Online Training Course.

You’re ready to start adding helpful feedback to your e-Learning courses! Adding that personal interaction with your students will be rewarding for both you and your learners.

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Christie graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor's degree in English and Writing. When she's not writing about e-Learning, Christie enjoys traveling or playing piano and guitar.

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