CPI aims to increase classroom feedback

In a lecture hall of several hundred people, it’s easy for students to feel lost and disconnected from their learning experience.

Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) is hoping to change that with a new pilot project supporting student learning in large classes.

CPI is hoping to improve students’ learning experience by establishing a ‘Community of Practice,’ where instructors can come together to share best practices in teaching large classes and examine ways of incorporating formative feedback into their courses.

The formative feedback strategy encourages a two-way dialogue between instructor and student while the course is in progress. Instructors are able to adapt their teaching in response to students’ experiences while the course is still in progress, rather than relying on course evaluations after the course is finished.

“The regular use of formative feedback in a large course means there should be no surprises at the end,” said CPI Director Jill Grose. “Instructors can share student feedback with the class, commenting on what can be changed and what can’t. Students can also compare the feedback they provided with those of their peers, and get a better sense of their own learning. All of this creates a more authentic dialogue about teaching and learning.”

Since paper-based formative feedback can be cumbersome in large classes, CPI will also be inviting participants to pilot the use of the eXplorance Bluepulse online system. Bluepulse allows students to share their learning experience anonymously with the course instructor, who can respond directly to students.

The strategy gives students the opportunity to help shape their learning experience and equips instructors to support student success and engagement.

Instructors using the system will meet monthly to explore ways of using the formative feedback model to improve student engagement and retention. Faculty and instructors interested in being a part of this project should contact CPI Director Jill Grose at jgrose@brocku.ca.

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