We all desperately need to receive feedback in our lives. We surround ourselves with apps that track our progress in all kinds of situations. We keep track of the number of steps we have made, number of hours of sleep we’ve had, number of glasses of water we’ve drunk! The apps show us motivational pop-ups either saying that we have done a great job, or encouraging us to do better. Either way, they help us stay on the right track.
At home, we are praised for preparing a nice meal, or criticised if the soup is too salty. At work, we receive a bonus if we have done exceptionally well, or a warning if our performance has not met the requirements. Whether we have done well or not, we will receive detailed feedback to know what we are doing well and what we still need to work on.
Needless to say, we need the feedback to keep going!
And needless to say, our students need it too! They need to know if they are going in the right direction, they want to know what they have learnt and what is still there to work on. They need something that will help them keep the motivation level high.
There are all kinds of ways in which we can help our students, but today I would like to focus on the Fluentify Feedback Forms. Feel free to review this post. We already devoted some space to Feedback Forms on the Tutor Blog.
A quick review of the basics:
- We submit feedback after every session (up to 72 hours after the session taught). The sooner the better!
- We use the star ranking system that corresponds with the CEFR levels.
- We choose a main focus area of the session (Grammar, Reading, Listening, Business Jargon or Other).
- We fill out the required boxes (“Language seen during the session” and “Focus of the next session and follow-up activity”) with some key information.
- We may fill out the last box with some more personalized comments. Strongly recommended!
It does take a few minutes to submit a good feedback form, but I can assure you that the time you spend on it is an investment!
Here is what can be done with the feedback forms:
- Use the feedback form as a strategic tool to encourage your student to book more sessions with you.
- Use the feedback form (e.g. the follow-up activity as a very constructive and productive start to your next session). Possibly even a form of encouragement to book a double session if the follow-up task is interesting and broad.
- If a student you never taught before books a session with you, review their past feedback forms to get an idea of what they have covered so far and what kind of topics they find interesting. This may speed things up and you may win a new extremely satisfied student! (A feature not available on the old Tutor Panel)
- Use the past feedback forms to review your student’s progress. Every 5-10 sessions schedule a review session with your student. Hardly any preparation on your part – simply open the student’s page in a new tab and go through the past forms asking your student questions about the material covered so far. They will love it! Once you make your students understand and feel they are making progress thanks to YOU, they will happily keep booking sessions with you!
Last but not least, I recommend this video. “What makes us feel good about our work” – a behavioural economist, Dan Ariely talks about the power of feedback, sense of progress and motivation at work. It really is worth-watching and thought-provoking.
Feel free to comment on this article. What else do you do to motivate your students?