You may find that, when you use an eLearning tool or platform, your students will have suggestions on ways to improve the lesson that involve changing the tool or using a different option. You may also get feedback on things that simply do not work. While it is important to try to anticipate some of them before the class starts so that you can put any needed support and alternatives in place. However, you won’t be able to anticipate everything. Similarly, new and innovative tools are constantly being developed. You won’t know every clever option that is available to you. Making effective use of student feedback is an important way for you to continue to improve your class.
Don’t Change Without Good Reason
One of the biggest mistakes you can make, is to rush into a format change halfway into a unit. Unless there is a pressing reason for change, such as an eLearning platform that hinders learning far more than it helps, you should stay with what you have. Changing platforms can be a very involved process and will disrupt your class. Major shifts in how your class is presented should be done between courses. However, you can lay some of the groundwork if you have the time. Use small projects and portions of your unit plan that can stand alone to experiment with your preferred new tools.
Get Detailed Feedback
The clearer the feedback you receive, the more you can do with it. Have students try to pinpoint problem areas and suggest improvements. If they can identify other options that they consider better, explore those. See what the difference is and try to pinpoint why it makes for an improved learning experience. Know that some issues will be specific to individual students and will not generally impact the rest of the class. While you want to be able to address those issues, don’t feel compelled to change everything for one student. Look specifically for issues that are tied to the eLearning platform and the class presentation. Problems that develop because of external issues are not the ones that you need to fix.
Consider What You Can Change
Some issues will be ones that you can fix simply by changing the way you use the platform. It may be an issue of not enough (or too much) refinement of the current class options. This can be an easy fix, especially if you can find a colleague familiar with the platform to guide you. Other issues may be fundamental to the platform. You should bring such issues to the attention of the platform developers, especially if you or your students have suggestions for improvements.
Acting on student feedback is an important part of providing the most effective eLearning experience. While you may not be able to create the perfect online class, you can regularly seek out better options. By being proactive and recognizing that your online class should continue to evolve, you ensure that you and your students will continue to have successful eLearning experience.