Feedback is an essential part of education. Without feedback, students may become confused and disinterested. Giving teachers the ability to share their knowledge with students through constructive feedback enhances the learning experience for all involved. Unfortunately, many students today are not able to take full advantage of the feedback from competent and experienced teachers and assistants due to outdated and ineffective modes of communication.

Teachers spend a lot of time providing feedback for assignments, tests and exams. However, the current generation of students grew up surrounded by technology. Educational institutions still rely too much on traditional systems that generate a lot of paper and handwritten commentary, some of which never reach the students who need it.

Why students do not collect feedback

There are several reasons why a professor’s constructive feedback would never reach the student:

  1. Students miss opportunities to collect it. In some institutions, feedback is only available for specific periods of time, whether in class or during office hours. Students may miss classes for a variety of reasons and, as a result, miss an opportunity to receive feedback. This is very unfair because students may miss a course for a perfectly legitimate reason (eg, a medical appointment).
  2. They do not believe that feedback will be helpful. Some students believe that the feedback will not be helpful or that it will be too harsh. They could then avoid receiving feedback because of fear or low self-esteem. By consistently providing constructive feedback, you will help eliminate this fear among students.
  3. They get the information in other ways. Students could already know their grades through their friends or other means. In these cases, students are much less likely to make the effort to read their feedback.
  4. Feedback must be provided promptly. When students receive feedback on a test or work after an extended period, they will be moved to something else and will be less open to comments. The opportunity to learn has been diminished.

These are real issues that need to be addressed. Teachers and teachers have studied them thoroughly to determine how feedback can be delivered to those who need it (even if they do not believe it).

How digital technology can help

Un moyen éprouvé de livrer efficacement de la rétroaction aux étudiants est d’utiliser la technologie. Plutôt que d’avoir à traverser le campus, à parler avec l’enseignant, puis à se retrouver dans une pile de papier, le travail peut être envoyé directement à l’étudiant sous forme numérique. Cela peut se faire simplement en envoyant le travail à l’étudiant par courriel ou au moyen du système de gestion de l’apprentissage de l’établissement. De telles solutions offrent une panoplie d’avantages, soit une remise rapide des notes d’examens, une méthode plus efficace de fournir des commentaires détaillés, et la création d’un répertoire de données et d’artefacts numériques des travaux en cas de différend.

Ricoh has extensive experience in implementing solutions designed for the education sector at higher education institutions across Canada. We help Canadian teachers improve learning environments and foster student success.

Contact a Ricoh representative to find out how we can help you deliver better constructive feedback to your students.