We are studying instructor feedback this week. Oddly enough, the only courses that discuss feedback (this one and another one by the same professor) are the courses that actually have helpful feedback. Most of the classes I am taking do not have very much instructor involvement in the discussion threads, with my classes with Dr. K having the most presence. I have one class where I can’t even get an answer over three words long in response to my email, much less a discussion.

So this is how I see it. I have projects, discussions, readings, etc. that I must do to receive a grade in a course. I do said classwork and turn it in. I receive a grade and feedback that consists of a couple of sentences. If I have questions about the feedback, and email the instructor, I am ignored. (I am not talking about Dr. K ,who answers all my questions.  I have three other classes.) The first thing I mention when I write is that I have a question and I am not whining about my grade. But I don’t even get a reply.  Am I too much trouble? After all, each instructor probably has a 100 students.  Maybe because the classes are online it simply takes too much time to be personal to a bunch of people the professor will never meet.

An article in the Journal for Interactive Online Learning said that “student-instructor interaction is one of the most critical factors in enhancing student satisfaction in an online course…The findings specifically suggest that the instructor must encourage students to actively participate in the course discussions; they must provide feedback on students’ work and inform them of their progress periodically; and treat them as individuals.” (Sher, 2009, p. 102)

I read an article the other day that some may find interesting. It said “Supportive relationships in the classroom can encourage students to become more invested in learning, enable them to extend beyond their current abilities, and form a bridge for mentorship.” (Meyers 2009, p. 209)

Sher, A. (2009, Summer) Assessing the relationship of student-instructor and student-student interaction to student learning and satisfaction in Web-based Online Learning Environment. Journal for Interactive Online Learning.

Steven A. Meyers (Fall 2009) Do your students care whether you care about them? College Teaching

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