5 ways to provide constructive feedback in e-learning in a productive manner

Feedback is an essential tool for tracking and measuring both the learner's progress and the effectiveness of e-learning courses. Establishing an effective feedback mechanism allows both the learner and instructor to communicate about improvement.

With the essential role feedback plays in online training, constructive criticisms should be conveyed carefully and thoughtfully. However, when delivered haphazardly, negative feedback may easily be misconstrued, affecting the learner's performance and the dynamics between learner and instructor.

5 ways to provide constructive feedback in e-learning in a productive manner

It is then important to know how to properly communicate constructive feedback and how to use it for a more productive feedback loop.

Here are five ways to provide constructive feedback in e-learning… the productive way.

1. Define the main objectives for establishing a feedback loop.

First, identify your main goals for establishing a feedback mechanism for your learning courses. Next, paint a clear picture of what you want to achieve. Finally, consider the learner's strengths and weaknesses and those of the learning course.

Defining the main objectives for giving and receiving feedback will guide how the feedback loop should roll out and whom to involve.

2. Deliver clear and straightforward feedback to avoid confusion.

With providing constructive criticisms in e-learning, it is key to give specific feedback. Define areas of improvement and the corresponding next steps on how to address them. When coming from a place of helpfulness, instructors will address any challenges hand-in-hand with the learner. Try providing supplemental materials like videos and online articles. And if the goal of the feedback mechanism is to gather them, questions should clearly state the reason for doing so and what exactly needs to be known.

3. Involve experts in providing and receiving feedback.

Subject matter experts can play an important role in your constructive feedback loop. Apart from providing expertise and solid insights on the strengths and weaknesses of your learning courses, they can also guide the learners in improving and expanding their understanding of the course. Involve them regularly and articulate that their involvement and expertise provide value in the course and learner engagement. When the goal is to receive feedback, subject matter experts are extremely valuable as they can help you with specific questions. In focus group discussions, they can either sit in as respondents – providing a wealth of information, experience, and expertise – or facilitate the entire conversation.

4. Use a platform that enables you to facilitate a user-friendly and intuitive feedback loop.

When using a digital platform for feedback, you should pick familiar and user-friendly for your respondents. If, for example, you are using an online survey to provide and receive feedback, you should ensure that your respondents know how to navigate the platform or tool. To make this happen, you can give your learners a brief tutorial via a recorded video screen capture. Feel free to supplement these with reference materials, keeping in mind that you should avoid overwhelming them with too many resources at the risk of discouraging them from using the platform at all.

Learning Management Systems like Edubrite, for instance, provides an intuitive and easy-to-use platform that enables a feedback loop. So if you'd like a walkthrough, you can book an appointment, and our team will show you how you can get a user-friendly tool for feedback.

5. Clearly state why actionable and timely constructive feedback is important.

Stress the importance of timely feedback. More importantly, communicate why focusing on action and following constructive criticisms can promote a productive and supportive learning culture. By giving feedback on the e-learning course, learners can help develop the course's content and instructional design. By giving constructive, actionable feedback, instructors can provide a clear path for the learner in addressing areas for improvement. Concrete next steps create a path for constructive feedback that will undoubtedly improve the e-learning experience for both learners and instructors alike.