June 2, 2011

Feedback toolkit: student web sites

I use a classroom web site, which hosts presentation materials (mainly videos I create to augment mini lessons, so I don’t talk too much), my instructional blog, our interactive syllabus, message board, student blog and, most important, private student web sites. The student sites are an integral piece of our Results Only Learning Environment, as they house student projects, and they are one of our largest platforms for two-way feedback.

The students love their web sites, because they have freedom to develop them any way they wish, while maintaining other activities and year-long projects in a safe place. The web sites create a paperless project environment that allows students to work at their own pace, while collecting ongoing feedback from me. They can set up e-mail alerts, so they’ll know when I’ve left feedback. As the school year progresses, though, they become accustomed to going to their private sites to look for my feedback. Best of all, unlike producing activities on paper, the web sites encourage students to make immediate change to their work.

The power of web-based feedback
Sometimes, I link feedback to a mini-lesson from class, so students can click over to it, review it and click back to their own web site and make the necessary change to indicate that they’ve mastered the objective. These student web sites create a new version of all saved pages, too, automatically creating a web-based portfolio that can be reflected on later in the school year. Student web sites are perfect examples of learning in the results-only classroom.

Don't miss the next part in this series -- message boards.