Provide Grading and Feedback

Quizzes, test scores, and written feedback on essays are perhaps the most obvious forms of feedback that you utilize in your courses.  All types of activities and assessments allow for feedback in the form of a grade and/or written feedback.  The following tips will help you make the most of assignment feedback.

Best Practice

  1. Feedback should be based on clear criteria. Feedback on assignments or in the classroom should be based on clearly communicated criteria for success. 
  2. Feedback should be timely. Feedback on assignments should arrive in time for students to improve their work prior to the next major assessment; otherwise, it's likely they'll make the same mistakes again.
  3. Feedback should be provided on both summative and formative assessments. If possible, it is helpful for students for large assignments and projects to be broken down in to smaller pieces that enable you to provide formative feedback on their work prior to providing summative feedback after the submission of the entire large project.
  4. Feedback should allow for student self-assessment. Self-assessment is vital to the learning process. When students assess their own work, they are engaging in deep thought processes that allow for greater reflection and understanding. Essentially, self-assessment helps students develop their learning skills. As students gain more practice with self-assessment, their confidence will increase, and they will learn how and when to seek feedback from their classmates and instructor. 
  5. Feedback should be relevant. Students should be able to see how the feedback they are receiving will help them to improve their performance in the class. Feedback is only useful for learners if they integrate it in to their learning. Feedback that helps students do better on a subsequent assessment or provides guidance on a revision will be more relevant than feedback on a topic that will not be addressed again in the semester, or if the feedback is on an essay that students cannot revise.

Tools for Feedback

There are numerous technology tools available to help you provide feedback to students.  Many of these are provided within Canvas.  A few tools are listed below.  Links to directions are provided to assist your implementation.

Audio/Video Comments: You can provide audio and video feedback (as well as nonverbal feedback) for a student's assignment submission while using the Canvas SpeedGrader tool. Record directly in Canvas to submit your feedback within minutes. How do I leave feedback comments for student submissions in SpeedGrader? external link icon

Virtual Conferences - Zoom: Zoom allows you to conference with an individual student, a small group, or your entire class. Zoom virtual conferences are a great place to showcase the non-verbal body language that can make students more comfortable in an online class. Getting started with Zoom external link icon

Canvas Gradebook: You can provide assignment feedback to students through Canvas Grades, which can be utilized even for courses that aren't taught online. Students can view their scores instantly once you submit them. How do I use Grades? external link icon

Rubrics in Speed Grader: Once you've set up a rubric in an assignment or discussion forum, you can enable its use in the Speed Grader. Each rating level is clickable and will auto-fill the correct point value in the Pts column. You are also able to leave comments per criteria level. How do I use rubrics in Canvas? external link icon  

Speech to Text (only in Chrome): You can use Google Chrome's speech recognition feature to speak your feedback and have the SpeedGrader transcribe it for you. If you have a long comment to provide, this can save a lot of time. How do I use the Speech to Text feature in SpeedGrader with Google Chrome? external link icon

Canvas Quizzing: For online courses, assign Canvas quizzes that can be auto-graded for students (multiple-choice, true-false, matching, etc.). Canvas quizzes allow you to create feedback for correct and incorrect responses that will be displayed automatically for students upon submission. You are also able to provide feedback per answer item. While this does take quite a bit of work to set up on the front end, quizzes are easily copied between courses. How do I set up Canvas Quizzes? external link icon