As many of us struggle to build viable relationships with our students while continuing to navigate the vagaries of pandemic restrictions, it might be a good time to revisit one of the core opportunities for student-instructor interaction: grading and individualized feedback.

Given the structure of current state-of-the-art learning management systems (LMSs), instructors have great flexibility to provide individualized feedback in a variety of forms including audio or video commentary.

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Potentially the first and most important facet to ensure providing feedback is timeliness. There is no single best timeframe in which to provide feedback other than to ensure students know when to expect to receive it.

One good rule of thumb is to try to grade materials in the same amount of time in which students had to complete the assignment. So, if they had a week to submit the assignment, try to return materials within a week. If that is not practical, make sure students know when they should expect feedback. Beyond that, keeping grades up to date within the LMS so students can keep abreast of their status within the course is also important. One of the largest and loudest complaints students have of professors seems to be a lack of timely grade reporting.

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About the Author:

Steven M. Baule, ED.D., PH.D., is an Assistant Professor of Leadership Education at Winona State University.

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