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My summer course began last week, so I’m getting back into the habit of making new resources and revising old ones. This week, I want to share an infographic that I developed to explain how the project feedback process works in my courses.
My course this summer is 100% online. I never see the students in person. Most of them are not geographically near campus. This situation means that everything for the course must be communicated in writing. Even if I created videos, I need to have a written transcript to go along with them.
The challenge is getting students to read all that writing. I’ve found in teaching online courses previously that I can write very explicit explanations and instructions, but students frequently don’t read them or, at best, only skim them. My solution has been using infographics to explain course policies and content.
Explaining the feedback and assessment methods that I use would take only a few minutes if I were meeting face-to-face with students; writing them out, however, resulted in a full page of text, which I can’t be sure that students will read carefully. In the infographic that I created to explain the process, I hoped to explain the process while making it clear that there can multiple revisions before a project is accepted.
While explaining feedback and assessment, I wanted to emphasize the general requirements for major projects. The first step, where I check for completion, also highlights the importance of the self-assessment information in the process. I ask students to complete a checklist and add reflective comments with every project. In the past, students often forgot to include that self-assessment information, so the infographic stresses that they will not get feedback on the content or design of their work until they submit all the required information.
I have worked other information into the process in a similar way. I wanted to demonstrate that acceptable projects need both strong content and a strong document design. I created those two steps to indicate that expectation. In practice, I don’t strictly separate content from design, of course; however, showing them as different steps helps emphasize that both are important.
Finally, I wanted to reinforce the expectation for the involvement of writing groups in the revision process—and the writing process, overall. The revision section of the infographic shows specific steps for asking writing groups for feedback and for incorporating that feedback.
Students will receive the infographic later this week, and I look forward to hearing their reactions. One thing is sure: they are more likely to read through the infographic than they are to read the page of text that explains the process. If you have ideas on how to improve the infographic or ideas for explaining feedback to students, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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