Feedback link for all elements

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This is a work in progress when I find the time. Sometimes there is obvious repetition that I haven't cleaned up yet.

The web is more and more social in that the users/readers of content are more and more invited to influence the content. This is especially true for support pages that are for helping ie. (these links may need updating) Google "was this helpful?"; Microsofts ditto.

Therefore it seems very important that this feature is lacking in Moodle, especially considering its social constructivistic underpinnings. It seems natural that this should be implemented, indeed almost a glaring miss.

There is a form for collecting feedback (documentation download) in Moodle which can be used for making course evaluations etc. The problem is that it is difficult to get people to spontaneously report suggestions, criticisms etc at all. If they have to find and go to another page, formulate a description of where they came from and what they want, felt etc, there are few that will do it, and the quality of the feedback will often lack crucial details so it may be useless.

Collecting feedback in a general form at the end of a course has many lacks. The students are poorly motivated (they won't be getting any use of changes that are made). Many annoyances, suggestions will have been forgotten. Those that are remembered will be difficult to describe accurately.

One way of nicely collecting feedback for an HTML page is to use a forum page as if it were an ordinary webpage. Then, after the content you put into the top, there is a forum at the bottom which can receive feedback and can have some soc. const. advantages over my proposal. But this wouldn't work for other kinds of pages/elements.

Having some kind of general course feedback early in a course is a good idea and can, of course, meet the first problem (that the pupil's feedback usually doesn't effect the on-going course).

Which Elements?


The properties that would be good to include:

  • No response
  • General rating
  • Lacking:
    • Linkage
    • Content
    • Language
      • grammar
      • spelling
  • Suggestions
  • Automatically (javascript) generated info about the browser, operating system, screen and window size, plugin availability. Often the user wouldn't even know these things, and they could be critically helpful for the page editor.

Here is an example of a page feedback form. The form has many of the things that I'd like to include. I would be like to have a small page with expandable fields connected to checked types. Only the first two checks are implemented in this. It does have a JavaScript that in the background includes auto-generated information in the form submission.

This microSoft page had some interesting questions:

Provide feedback on this information
Did this information solve your problem?
 I don't know 
Was this information relevant?
How much effort did you personally put forth to use this article?
 Very low 
 Very high 

What can we do to improve this information?

Quiz questions (even lesson and feedback and questionnaire?)

This is very important. If I had to chose between Page and Question, I'd chose question feedback.

Since evaluation questions are very important to the learners, they are very motivated to see that they are clear.

This can also be a way to make students an active part of the quiz creation/improvement process. Dennis Daniels has been trying to push for this possibility. He calls it "question challenge". A possible use scenario: The teacher quickly prepares a quiz with minimal answer alternatives and makes it available to the fastest students. These are encouraged to add more answer alternatives with motivations, and react to the existing formulation, grading and feedback. The teacher reviews their feedback and easily incorporates the useful suggestions into the test before the main body of students try the quiz.

There are many possible parts that can be specific to the feedback for questions.

Is the question itself clear? This might be able to be covered by the same fields that are of interest for general feedback for pages.

This CBM possibility has since been implemented in newer Moodles: Is my answer considered wrong though I feel it is right? It would be good to include a "certainty" rating. Certainty Based Marking, CBM, is a very valuable form of quiz feedback. It would be good to think about it at the same time as other quiz feedback. It is often a 3-step scale.: C1 C2 C3 where 1 is quite uncertain and 3 is very certain. Many teachers would appreciate the ability to connect the certainty to the grading of the question. But even while the grading implementation has not been successfully made yet, it would be valuable feedback for the teacher. "Hmm a lot of students have this right, but almost all of them are very uncertain about it." or "Hmm, this student was very certain about this incorrect answer.

Is the feedback I get for my answer: unclear, incorrect, possible to improve?

Does the user have other answers that (s)he was tempted to try? Usually people make similar mistakes and this could be a valuable resource for giving better feedback to common mistakes and for creating good "distractors" for multiple choice questions.

When a quiz editor receives feedback on a question it should be easy to use it to develop the question. Prepared fields may depend on the question type. "the answer I would have used", "an answer I might have used", "my motivation". The first 2 could be used to make new answer alternatives. The last as foundation for feedback for that answer. There should be a field for explaining how the learner got the answer. This could be the basis for the feedback field for that answer, if the teacher should chose to include that answer.There should be a field for explaining how the learner got the answer. This could be the basis for the feedback field for that answer, if the teacher should chose to include that answer.

Question feedback form fields

 There are prepared fields below to help you formulate your
 feedback, but in case you feel like
 "I would rather just explain in my own words": ...............
 [_]question/[X]word in this question unclear
    (check on word-> expand to: which word: ____________  ) 
  a)possible interpretation 1 __________________________
  b)possible interpretation(s) 2, ... _____________________________
 [_]grade questionable, motivation: ______________________________  
   (this perspective maybe the teacher should be able to choose not to ask about)
 answer feedback [_]wrong/[_]unclear (this would be for the answer that was active
    when the feedback button was pushed, and automatically included)
    What was wrong/unclear: ________________________________
    Suggested improvement: _________________________________
 Other possible answers:
 [_]Best possible, [_]acceptable, [_]should get partial credit, [_]Not right but probable
  (if last two are checked expand to: Suggested credit [____]% )
  answer: ________________________________________________
  motivation: ____________________________________________
  (how one would get this answer.) 
 [_]More possible answers? (gives more fields like above)

Social bookmarking is important since what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander! The grade goal of students varies and this can mean that a highly rated resource for one person could be useless for another. Therefore a rating should be able to be connected to information about the user. Anonymous (though visible for admin if breaking netiquette) ratings are better than none, though the value would be increased if complemented by some info like grade goal, special branch, language proficiency, disabilities, etc.

Who would the feedback go to?

There could be some parts of a Moodle distribution that are default set to collect feedback. The pages that are for administrators, teacher editors should be of interest to Moodle developers. Help pages should collect to the documenters. It should be possible to turn off these default settings if a site doesn't want to participate.

The other parts could choose at different levels, admin, course developer, teacher, to invite feedback for specific courses, pages, questions and which recipients would get it.

Another consideration is making feedback easier/possible for people using Moodle off line. There are many situations, especially in many places in developing countries, where Internet access is poor, slow or nonexistent. Moodle is still usable on LAN or even a single computer or on a USB memory stick that can be used on different computers, some on line some off line. It would be good if there were preparations made for saving up feedback for when coming on line or for exporting to a file that could be sent on a floppy, through a mobile phone etc to someone on line.

Some Examples

Developers have made a new version of some component in Moodle and are really not sure about if it will be easily understood and function well. They can than choose to set a VERY Inviting feedback link. "This page is new and we would really like suggestions about how to make it better" The feedback choice will be default in Moodle packages and the developers will get the feedback from any site that doesn't turn it off (and has a user giving feedback). The form should contain all the fields, as many as possible automatically, that would be needed to interface with the Tracker: first for search, then for entering a new bug/feature.

A school administrator would like to collect any views that anyone using the site has about pages and turns on a more general feedback invitation: "If this page doesn't meet your needs, please tell us!" (S)he choses to have the feedback go to (her)him and to the course teacher in charge of the course containing the page. Some administrators have wished for a channel for getting info, questions, suggestions even from non-registered visitors (usually on the front page but perhaps even in other guest open courses). Feedback from non-registered visitors should probably include a reCaptcha antispam protection.

A teacher could want to have students rate pages to be able to give other students a Social bookmarking guide especially if there is a lot of varied material that everybody isn't expected to go through. Or compare the webpages with the textbook. [the book was better][Both were needed][the webpage better][Neither helped much]. This particular type of feedback would be good to be able to display for the students, perhaps tagged according to grade goals, previous experience, math love/hate, etc.


The Moodle tracker issue for this suggestion.

A blog post about answering tough questions includes "Check afterwards to see if the questioner feels satisfied."