In the Loop: How Formative Feedback Supports Remote Teaching
During the pandemic, assessment of student learning became even more important than usual as instructors sought tools to gauge student success in a remote, unexpected (and, for many instructors, new) educational environment. Prompted by Georgia Tech’s emergency shift to remote instruction, our team at the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) piloted a key performance indicator (KPI) tool designed to provide instructors with expanded insight into student learning and success in remote courses.
The KPI tool as a formative feedback tool
In 2020, we set out to build a tool to help instructors obtain spontaneous feedback from students that would allow educators to quickly adjust their teaching methods. We felt that the most direct way to provide this resource would be through a tool already in use by most of our faculty and staff: the campus learning management system (LMS), Canvas. We also envisaged a tool that could be quickly and effectively scaled to all courses at Georgia Tech without extensive effort by faculty.
The KPI Canvas tool is available to all instructors at Georgia Tech who are teaching courses that are fully residential or part of online degree programmes. This new tool enables C21U researchers to connect to a database containing Qualtrics survey data and easily retrieve the data from the KPI learning tools interoperability (LTI) application. Ease of user access is key to the design of a new academic tool, and our KPI tool provides instructors with easily accessed and continuous weekly feedback from students. It also tracks how students are performing on average in their course over time.