"When you’re teaching an online course, you want this kind of quick, affirmative feedback for the participants and for yourself. The more immediately you can see user data, the faster you can improve the course." You’re driving down the road, going 42 in a 35 mph school zone. OK, so you’re speeding just a little, but what’s seven over the speed limit going to hurt? Then you pass a speed check and it flashes 42. You immediately pump your brakes, maybe scan the area for flashing police lights. That instinct to slow down once you know you’re being monitored? That’s a feedback loop. These types of speed checks have been enormously helpful in getting people to reduce their speeds in safety zones. But the concept applies pretty much anywhere, including in your online courses.
What Are Feedback Loops?
Feedback loops occur when you use a particular input to influence a desired outcome. It’s essentially manipulating the cause and effect relationship. You see this play out all the time when people are learning new materials. Think back to when you were in middle school. Did your teacher ever ask a question and have the entire class yell out the answer? That’s a feedback loop for the students who got it right, because it reinforces that they’ve learned the material and they experience a positive feeling from their accomplishment.
How To Use Feedback Loops In Your Online Courses
When you’re teaching an online course, you want this kind of quick, affirmative feedback for the participants and for yourself. The more immediately you can see user data, the faster you can improve the course. At ConveYour, we facilitate feedback loops in a couple of different ways.
Skill Assessments & Reports
Students who are taking courses built through ConveYour receive skill level assessments and reports on how they compare to other participants. So for example, we’ll have them tackle a series of challenge-based questions. They receive negative points if they answer incorrectly, but they can keep trying until they get it right. Then they can see where they fall percentile-wise compared to their peers. There’s a feedback loop there that reinforces the content and motivates them to learn so they can improve their rankings. Over time, they get to see how far they’ve come and where they currently stand, which is a great way to keep them moving through the course.
On the instructor side, you want to see where you’re most effective and where you’re falling down. We provide both a macro and micro look at students’ progress. You can see how many people finish the course, where some drop off, and class engagement on each particular module. These stats take the guesswork out of evaluating your content. "Students need feedback to really learn what you’re teaching, but tracking progress in real time is vital for instructors, too." Sales numbers aren’t good indicators of effectiveness, because paying for the program isn’t the same as finishing or benefitting from it. Reviews are helpful, but you have to wait until the end of the program to receive them, so you don’t have the data to help people out as they’re actually working on the materials. Being able to see which lessons are too difficult for people and where you’re losing students is so key to coaching them through to the end. If you can iterate on the course as it’s in progress, there’s a much better chance of people completing it and buying from you again. A lot of instructors want to create a video series that they can set and forget, basically as a form of passive income. But we’re going to see a shift away from this model as people demand higher quality content and more teacher involvement. As an instructor, fast-tracked feedback can be your greatest asset. Not only does it allow you to help students throughout the series, but your material then becomes a living, breathing thing. You can expand on and revise it for future courses, and you’re constantly building a better, more valuable product. Students need feedback to really learn what you’re teaching, but tracking progress in real time is vital for instructors, too. Ready to build your online course with ConveYour? Click here to get started.