Using the blog “In- Box” for Feedback

Earlier this month I discovered that I could send students individual messages to their blog in-boxes.  I’ve been using it to provide feedback on presentations and other assessment tasks, and really like how it’s working.  In the past, I have tried to provide students with written feedback following each assessment task, with specific information about what they did well, and what their next steps ought to be.  While some students took the feedback seriously, it was frustrating to find some of those “feedback forms” scattered on the floor, crumpled in desks, or tossed in the recycling bin at the end of the day.

I’m not naive enough to believe that the every kid now reads and takes to heart what I have to say, just because the communication is now electronic, but now I have a permanent record of the feedback that I provided, parents can access it, and when the time comes to write report card comments, I already have individualized comments that specify exactly what a student’s strengths and needs are, and what his/her next steps ought to be.  It should be a matter of simply copying and pasting from the “Sent Messages” in my blog dashboard, to the report card comment box.

And some kids are reading what I have to say… many of them respond with direct messages, and yesterday one of my Grade 4 boys took me to task on the fact that I had not yet sent him my feedback on a presentation he did earlier in the week….Quite the little task-master, he tapped me on the shoulder, squinted up into my face (he’s about 3 and 1/2 feet tall) and admonished, “I’ve been checking my in-box, and you haven’t sent me any feedback on my Science presentation.  It’s been almost a week.”

Well… at least I know he’s interested in what I have to say to him about his work… Needless to say, sending him his feedback was the first order of business when I turned on my computer today.

5 thoughts on “Using the blog “In- Box” for Feedback”

  1. Kathleen,
    I really enjoyed reading your post – and I learned something new. What a great idea! Is the feedback you send to the inbox private? Only visible to the student? We had some discussions about the kinds of feedback we give on student blogs during our October TLLP meeting. Some teachers are questioning whether to provide certain kinds of feedback like next steps because the student blogs are public. What are your thoughts on that?

    I may just give this a try in the New Year. My first thought is to send a message to their inboxes reviewing their Learning Goals so they have a digital copy they can refer to when they are writing in digital spaces. I’m going to do a lot of thinking about how I might use this. There are a number of possibilities . . .

    Thank you for sharing this idea Kathleen. I really enjoyed visiting your blog today – there is so much collaboration happening!

    Looking forward to reading your next post.


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