Providing relevant feedback in elearning courses

Posted by Greten on 12 Mar 2023 under Tips

In recent years, elearning has become popular as a convenient and flexible method of acquiring new knowledge and skills. Yet, in contrast to traditional classroom settings, elearning frequently lacks face-to-face interaction and personalized feedback, making it difficult for learners to assess their progress and find areas for growth.

Good feedback is essential to elearning because it enables learners to understand what they are doing well and where to improve.

The importance of elearning feedback

There are various reasons why feedback is crucial in eLearning. First, it enables learners to get the most out of online content. Second, it allows learners to analyze their progress and identify possible areas for self-improvement. Third, it encourages self-reflection and improves knowledge retention. Lastly, it assists learners in understanding what they did correctly and incorrectly and learning from their mistakes.

It enables learners to get the most out of online content

Good feedback can help learners get the most out of online content by guiding and directing them. This can encourage them to dig deeper into the content and work harder to attain their learning objectives.

Shadow of a person holding a megaphone casts on a chalkboard on which the word feedback is written.

The feedback may provide further resources, practice opportunities, and recommendations for different methods or approaches to learning the material. Learners can get the most out of their online learning experience by heeding this advice.

It enables learners identify possible areas for self-improvement

Feedback gives learners information about how they did. Learners may use this to help them assess their strengths and weaknesses. It can assist them in understanding what they do well and where they need to improve. It also allows them to monitor their development and pinpoint the areas where they might need more assistance or resources to fully comprehend the course content.

By reflecting on this input, learners can identify areas where they need to concentrate their efforts to meet their learning goals. These areas may require additional help, more frequent practice, or experimentation.

It improves knowledge retention

Feedback stimulates self-reflection and increases knowledge retention by providing learners with information about their performance. For example, as learners receive comments on their work, they are urged to consider their understanding of the content and how well they applied it. This self-reflection strategy can help learners discover areas where they may need to focus their efforts to grow.

A teacher providing one-on-one feedback to a student.

Additionally, feedback can help with information retention by reinforcing what learners have learned. For example, if learners receive feedback on the parts where they answered correctly, it reinforces what they already know. On the other hand, when learners receive feedback about items they got wrong, it is more likely that they will recall it better later, provided they struggled while answering it.

It assists learners in understanding what they did correctly and incorrectly

Feedback helps learners comprehend what they did properly and what they did not do correctly by providing precise information about their performance. By understanding which parts they understand thoroughly and which parts they have difficulty comprehending, learners can direct their efforts toward strengthening in areas requiring the most significant assistance.

Furthermore, feedback can assist learners in learning from their mistakes by providing recommendations on how to better. When learners make errors, feedback can help them understand what went wrong and how to prevent repeating the same error. This can include giving additional materials or opportunities for practice and suggesting other ways or strategies for learning the information.

Ways of providing feedback in elearning

An educator can generally do more in elearning than in a traditional classroom. In the traditional classroom, you can personalize feedback by talking to learners one-on-one or returning their work with notes jotted down. In elearning, you can do these as well, plus send your feedback over a large distance or do the one-on-one on videoconference.

You can also automate the feedback by incorporating it into the learning module or LMS.

Instant module/system feedback

The section title is instant module/system feedback because you can add the feedback either on the elearning module or in the learning management system (LMS). One of the most impressive functions of asynchronous elearning is that you can provide immediate feedback in the form of onscreen text.

On a table are a stack of books and a laptop. On the laptop screen is an elearning module showing incorrect feedback for an exam question.

When creating quizzes or exercises using some LMSs, such as Moodle, or elearning authoring applications, such as Captivate or Storyline, the question comes with correct and incorrect feedback text captions that are set to appear immediately after the learner submits their answer for that item. By default, these feedback text captions only tell whether the learner got the answer correctly or incorrectly. Still, you can edit the text to explain why the correct answer is correct, serving as a means to reinforce learning.

Furthermore, you can configure the quizzes or exercises to provide other feedback on possible incorrect answers, as in the case of single-answer multiple-choice quizzes. This feature allows you to cover any misconceptions the learners might have for answering in a particular way.

Adaptive feedback

Adaptive feedback is a feedback system powered by an algorithm or artificial intelligence based on your overall performance on the module or course. It extracts the data of your actions and performance on quizzes from the LMS and LRS (learning record store). Then, it uses those data to provide you with feedback.

Unlike instant feedback, this feedback isn't usually for your performance in particular quiz items. Instead, the feedback system also works with adaptive microlearning to help reinforce the knowledge and skills from those parts of the learning material where your performance is subpar.

Personalized feedback

Personalized feedback is similar to the traditional feedback provided by teachers, except that it can be transmitted or conducted over long distances through electronic means such as email, messenger, or video conference. This feedback involves an actual human person, an instructor or a facilitator, evaluating a learner's work, perhaps using traditional methods like rubrics, and providing feedback on a personal or individual level.

This feedback commonly works on quiz items or exercises explicitly designed to be graded by an instructor or facilitator, such as essay-type quiz items where learners must type their answers in paragraph format on a text area. It is also valuable for blended learning, where interaction between the learners and the instructors is among the expectations.


Feedback is essential in elearning for several reasons. It allows learners to get the most out of online content, identify possible areas for self-improvement, improve knowledge retention, and learn from their mistakes. Feedback can be personalized by educators through one-on-one communication or automated through the learning module or LMS. Adaptive feedback and personalized feedback also provide additional means of feedback to learners. Overall, feedback plays a critical role in the success of eLearning, improving knowledge retention, and achieving learning objectives.


Last updated on 13 Mar 2023.

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