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Teaching Tip: The Importance of Feedback in Your OM Course

June 24, 2014

Research overwhelmingly shows that students pay attention and respond to grades, writes Faculty Focus (June 20, 2014). They guide their time, their attention, and their effort based on the grades they are getting. Thus, grading and feedback can be effective tools for focusing students’ attention. For this to work, however, grading must be aligned with learning objectives, and feedback must move students toward those learning objectives. Also imperative is that grading and feedback are consistent, timely, immediate, ongoing, and incremental.
Feedback is a tool that develops cognitive understanding, motivation and engagement. It not only helps students learn course material but also helps keep them motivated, engaged in what can feel like an isolated environment, and connected to the course.  All told, feedback has a direct bearing on whether students have meaningful interactions with course materials and overall positive course experiences. Because feedback can be such a powerful tool, we are big believers in the MyOMLab on-line assessment system that accompanies our text.

The issue is that instructors don’t have the time to provide the kind of handwritten feedback they would like to deliver. With one teacher and 20, 50, or more students per course, it can be daunting and even impossible to fulfill feedback best practices. In any given week, instructors face an exponential buildup of student artifacts that demand time and attention. It is an overwhelming challenge to maintain a desirable level and quality of grading feedback without overinvesting, which can lead to instructor burnout. It is important to note that the goal is not to improve feedback by spending more time on it. Rather, the goal is to optimize time spent on feedback so that instructors can invest an appropriate amount of effort and get high-quality results.

myomlabOur strategy is to embrace emergent technologies of automated assessment systems like MyOMLab. Technology can automate some repetitive feedback tasks to improve efficiency without diminishing quality.




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