Provide Formative Feedback for Student Success in Interactive Assessments

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Research suggest that faculty interacting with and providing constructive feedback to students were significantly and positively related to students’ learning gains in professional skills (Bjorklund, Parente, & Sathianathan, 2004). If students work on an assignment which does not exemplify the best they can do to meet the assignment criteria, they are allowed to revise and improve it, even if they miss the assignment deadline. This strategy insures faculty rarely have to waste time reviewing sub-standard work. Once a student submits an assignment, faculty provide feedback, with suggestions for improvement. If the student does not earn full points on the assignment, he or she can revise the assignment, based on the faculty’s feedback, and resubmit the assignment to pick up the remaining points and perhaps receive additional comments from the faculty. The important issue in the faculty’s feedback is that it does not give the student the correct answer but rather asks reflection questions or points the student to readings that will help the student discover the correct answer.

Reflection has been shown to be a powerful learning strategy (Alley & Jansak, 2001). Other names for this assessment model include “ongoing assessment,” and “iterative assessment.”

Link to example artifact(s)

Instructor Testimony

  • Instructor: Dr. Jill Coddington, University of Advancing Technology Professor
  • Course Title: Computer Science and Game Programming
  • Strategy: In programming, LOOP for student success!

Students in computer programming are required to develop programs. In an online environment, I invite students to submit early for feedback and allow them to resubmit based on feedback. This is specifically helpful in beginning programming classes. If the assignment is submitted on time, the student is given the option to resubmit based on feedback (that does NOT contain the solution) for an improved grade (up to 1/2 of the original points lost). Practice makes perfect. I have found that in classes where I allow the resubmission as described above (ONLY for programming assignments), the student success rate is dramatically improved. The students want to succeed but in the online environment, sometimes a 2nd try is what they need to understand. Being available and willing to give detailed feedback (and being willing to grade some assignments twice) has dramatically improved the success rates of my students in the introductory classes.

Artifacts from Dr. Jackie Dobrovolny

This three-page document File:TOPR Examples Feb28 2014.pdf shows examples of how Dr Jackie Dobrovolny assessed two different types of assignments. The first example shows three questions from a 25 question scavenger hunt assignment. This was the first assignment in an online graduate course and focused on the course syllabus. This first example shows the student’s original answers, the faculty’s feedback, and then the student’s revisions. This process took four days. This first example also includes the directions and evaluation criteria for the assignment.

The second example in this document is a page from an instructional website planning document. This example shows the typography plans for the student’s instructional website, which was the main project in an online graduate course. The example shows only the faculty feedback, not the student’s revisions. Both examples show how the faculty used MSWord Comments for feedback and the first example shows how students used MSWord Track Changes for their revisions.

Link to scholarly reference(s)

Alley, L. R., & Jansak, K. E. (2001). Ten keys to quality assurance and assessment in online learning. Journal of Interactive Instruction Development, 13(3).

Banerjee, D., & Kauffman, N. D. (2012). Interactive and iterative assessment: A case for enhanced student learning. International Journal of Social Science and Interdisciplinary Research 1(11): 77-82.

Bjorklund, S. A., Parente, J. M., & Sathianathan, D. (2004). Effects of faculty interaction and feedback on gains in student skills. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(2), 153–160.

Kapura, M., & Bielaczyca, K. (2012). Designing for productive failure. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(1): 45-83. Ongoing Assessment:


Dobrovolny, J., & Coddington, J. (2015). Provide formative feedback for student success in interactive assessments. In B. Chen & K. Thompson (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning.

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