25 Using Student Feedback and Rubrics to Guide Reflection

Using Student Feedback Surveys

Your role as an ID project developer or an online teacher does not end on the last day of a module or course. It is important to reflect on your ID project, the course content and activities, and how it went. One of the most valuable sources of information to guide this reflective process is the feedback you receive from students.

Most online courses (like many face-to-face courses) allow students to complete an anonymous course feedback survey. Participants in my instructional design courses are required to include a student feedback form in their ID pilot projects, along with instructions on how their students should submit the completed forms (and a reminder to forward those forms to me as part of one of their peer review assignments for the course). We use a standardized student feedback form called the ISD Project Student Feedback Form that has been developed based on the principles explored in the course and this eBook, as well as the Community of Inquiry model (Athabasca University, n.d.; Garrison et al., 2000; Kineshanko, 2016).


Using Mid-Course Surveys and Applying Feedback

Many courses also include mid-course surveys.  Such surveys are an opportunity for you, as an online teacher, to gather your own formative feedback. Watch my video Power (2017), where I explain how I used mid-course survey feedback in one of my online courses.

For a deeper dive into the steps to analyzing student feedback data, read Julie Bryant’s (2013) blog post for Ruffalo Noel Levitz on Six critical steps to conducting regular assessments of college student satisfaction.

Watch the following video from Edutopia (2016) for another perspective on why it is important to collect and use student satisfaction survey data.

Interpreting Survey Responses

So, you have some data from your student feedback surveys. Now what? DecisionSkills (2015) highlights how just because you see some trends in the data (i.e., students performed poorly on one of your assignments and gave low ratings to the type of resources you provided in one of the learning activities), that does not necessarily mean those two pieces of data are related.

Bennett (2014) advises that you also need to be careful not to read what you want to see into the data – which can be particularly dangerous if you have created questions designed only to confirm what you want to hear.

Using Rubrics to Guide Reflection

One way to avoid the pitfalls of incorrectly correlating data, or confirming your cognitive bias, is to use a rubric to guide your course reflection process. Northcote, Seddon, and Brown discuss the importance of reflection for online teachers and the development of a self-reflection rubric for online teachers who use the Moodle learning management system (called MOOBRIC).

Further Reading

While the MOOBRIC tool was designed specifically for teachers using the Moodle LMS, the categories and concepts can easily be applied to reflecting on online courses hosted on other LMS platforms, such as Canvas.


After viewing and reading the resources on using data from student satisfaction surveys and self-reflection for online teachers, you should understand how these concepts apply to your Online Teaching Module project.  What comes to mind as you explore using feedback and self-reflection after an online course?

Course Retrospectives

Review Slade (2017)’s blog post How to conduct an eLearning project retrospective.

  1. What would you tell your colleagues – or any teacher developing their first ISD Project – about completing a Course Retrospective?
  2. What are the benefits?
  3. What should they look for in Student Survey responses?
  4. How should they use the results?


Activity iconUse the MOOBRIC and the student feedback you received after pilot testing your ID project to reflect on your Online Teaching Module.

  1. What worked well?
  2. What didn’t work?
  3. What needs to be revised or improved (before teaching the module again)?
  4. What skills do you need to work on to meet your online students’ needs better?
  5. How will you use the information gathered from your personal reflections and student satisfaction surveys?

Add your post-course reflections to your ID Project Journal.

Course Participants

Alert!If you are a participant in one of my instructional design courses, please refer to the following for detailed instructions and appropriate templates (if applicable) for official course assignments:


Athabasca University (n.d.). Community of Inquiryhttps://coi.athabascau.ca/

Bennett, B. (2014, March 29). Confirmation Bias [YouTube Video]. https://youtu.be/B_YkdMwEO5U

Bryant, J. (2013, September 12). Six critical steps to conducting regular assessments of college student satisfaction. [Web log post]. Ruffalo Noel Levitzhttps://www.ruffalonl.com/blog/student-success/critical-steps-conducting-regular-assessment-college-student-satisfaction/

DecisionSkills (2015, July 15). How Ice Cream Kills! Correlation vs. Causation. https://youtu.be/VMUQSMFGBDo

Edutopia. (2016, June 15). Student Surveys: Using Student Voice to Improve Teaching and Learning. https://youtu.be/cP-8OGwQRPI

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. https://auspace.athabascau.ca/handle/2149/739

Kineshanko, M. (2016). A thematic synthesis of Community of Inquiry research 2000 to 2014. (Doctoral dissertation, Athabasca University). http://hdl.handle.net/10791/190

Northcote, M., & Seddon, J. (2011). MOOBRIC: A self-reflection rubric of Moodle skills and knowledge (online teaching, course design).

Northcote, M., Seddon, J., & Brown, P. (2011). Benchmark yourself: Self-reflecting about online teaching. In G. Williams, P. Statham, N. Brown & B. Cleland (Eds.), Changing Demands, Changing Directions. Proceedings ascilite Hobart 2011. (pp.904-908). http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Northcote-concise.pdf

Power, R. (2017, March 2). Using Mid-Course Surveys to Improve an Online Course.  https://youtu.be/tNhr8v5jsbM

Slade, T. (2017, July 16). How to conduct an eLearning project retrospective. Tim Sladehttps://timslade.com/blog/elearning-project-retrospective/


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