Discussion Post on Characteristics of Effective Feedback in Groups

The purpose of this discussion is to analyze feedback given and recommend best practices that could support students in giving effective feedback.

Online learning communities provide an opportunity for students to exchange ideas, work collaboratively on authentic assignments and experience various roles in a team setting. To ensure effective collaboration instructors need to provide guidance, training and support for students. Additionally, by learning together in a community, students receive and provide constructive and critical feedback (Palloff & Pratt, 2007).

For this week discussion, read chapter 8 on “promoting collaborative learning” from this week’s resources (note: use your Walden ID and password to access the resource).

Reflect on your experience as a student in the MSIDT program at Walden; based on your experience and from this week resource answer the following two questions by Friday:

  1. How could instructors promote effective feedback among students in groups?
  2. Think about the feedback you provided to your peers in last week’s discussion, what would you have changed/added in your feedback? Provide a rationale for your answer.

Support your answers from this week resource and your own experience.


This is a required and graded activity. The delay in your response will hinder the discussion of the group so try to post on time; you need to post your initial response and feedback by the indicated dates. A complete rubric is available to guide you answers; read the criteria carefully and let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to reading your posts.

View Rubric for Evaluation


Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


7 Responses to Discussion Post on Characteristics of Effective Feedback in Groups

  1. Mel Schuster says:

    In my experience, promoting effective feedback in groups is as much an art form as a distinct process. Although the processes of development in Palloff & Pratt (2007) are a useful starting point for a general sense of developing a community of learners, actually developing a community requires creativity, persistence, and a respect for learners. The most important strategy, in my experience thus far, is the creation of a community of learners. This happens through time and creating a positive, safe learning environment. By modeling clear, respectful appropriate feedback as well as responding to negativity and judgement immediately, instructors can promote learning environments that are effective for all students.

    Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • daliahanna says:

      Thanks for your response; I really appreciate the idea of modeling appropriate feedback through the development of a learning community. Dalia

  2. Carmen Daly says:

    Instructors can promote effective feedback among students in groups by assigning specific roles to each student. This allows the instructor to productively respond to each student about his or her role in the group. Also, providing immediate feedback promotes students understanding as well as clears up any misunderstandings. As far as the discussion post I responded to last week, I would have incorporated more questioning techniques among my posts with other students in class. This would have created more clarifications and collaboration among all students.

    PNC. (n.d.). Classroom best practices: Providing feedback to students in the classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.pnc.edu/distance/guides/feedback.pdf.

  3. Great discussion prompt, Dalia!

    Instructors can promote effective feedback among students in groups through the use of several strategies. First, instructors should give examples of appropriate feedback and then model for and encourage students to provide constructive and thoughtful feedback to each other (Palloff and Pratt, 2007). As Palloff and Pratt (2007) explain, students’ ability to give appropriate feedback should not be assumed or expected, but taught and modeled by the instructor. I know I have fallen into the trap of simply posting “good job” or “I agree” without providing meaningful collaboration or enhanced learning. Modeling by the instructor is an effective way to provide this guidance for students.

    Next, as I reflect on last week’s posts I made, I feel like I could have providing more substantive feedback. Some of my posts simply re-stated what my peer said and I really didn’t explore the concepts or points as deeply as I could have. Palloff and Pratt (2007) explain that the expectation of substantive feedback should be built into the course and, explained in the guidelines, and acknowledged by all participants. I think the guidelines and expectations in this course are appropriate, I just need to work harder at finding deeper connections.

    – James


    Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201360_02/MS_INDT/EIDT_6511/Week%207/Resources/Resources/embedded/Paloff_Ch8.pdf

    • daliahanna says:

      Thanks James for your response. Providing examples is a very effective strategy to help students in understanding the requirements; it is a practical way to provide expectations. Dalia

  4. tdeark says:


    Great post!

    Instructors can promote effective feedback by providing a response to the post that facilitates discussion between learners and not learner to instructor. Brookfield and Preskill, (2005) (as quoted by Palloff & Pratt, 2007) determine students develop the collaborative skills of respectfully listening to others opinions, every ones efforts are recognized as valuable, and they become group members that are productive. Palloff and Pratt (2007) recommend posting higher level thinking questions at the end of the instructor response that will encourage the learner to research their answer, thus promoting higher level thinking in their response as well. Including the expectation of providing “constructive and thoughtful feedback” at the beginning and throughout the course is a must do strategy for the instructor. This does not come naturally, it must be taught through modeling and encouragement.
    Reflecting back on my previous response last week, it did not demonstrate higher level thinking nor provide the reader with constructive feedback. I feel I simply restated the original response and did not research my reply adequately.



    Laureate Education Inc. (Producer) (n.d.). Assessing Interaction and Collaboration in Online Environments [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2819049_1%26url%3D

    Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

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