Keep Calm and Ask Your StudentsIn previous posts we have discussed the importance of feedback in your online course.  We’ve looked at how students obtain feedback from student/course, student/instructor and student/student interactions.  There is however another important type of feedback that can be gathered in your online course(s)…….Student Opinion!

We can all be a little touchy when it comes to something that we have put measurable effort into, but if something is worth your effort, it is also worth you finding ways to improve it.  Here are a few suggestions for getting feedback from your students:

Blog – Week in Review
Have your students do a reflective blog post each week that charts the highs, lows and in-betweens of their activity in your online course.  Start them off letting them know that you are looking for honest/candid observations of their experience that week.

Trying Something New? – Do a Post assignment Survey
Maybe you are using a wiki for the first time in class, or maybe you are trying out synchronous web meetings.  Whatever you are doing, ask your students how it went, how it could be better and what they got out of it.

Three Letter Acronym for Success – KWL
What do you know?  What do you want to know?  What have you learned?  These three questions are key to ensuring that your students know you are listening.  By asking the first two questions you can, with the help of your students’ answers, drive learning toward their needs.  By asking the last question you can be sure that any objectives you set are met by reading their answers.

Be Formative and Summative
It is nice to find out what your students think when they finish your course, but wouldn’t it be nicer to know if they are really enjoying a certain aspect of your course or have problems with another while they are doing it?

There are other ways to gauge your students’ feelings on your course through discussions, assignments, surveys and synchronous “touching base” online meetings, but hopefully these few can you get started and allow you to improve your course and your students’ online experience.