EC&I 834

Fabulous Feedback & Access/Equity : Online Prototype Considerations!

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has given me feedback – both in class and via the feedback form! As an educator, I am used to providing (copious amounts of) feedback but rarely receive it myself. I have especially found this feedback useful in relation to our topic of accessibility in an online course, as many of the feedback points were directly related to ways I can make my module more equitable for students. I appreciated the mix of complimentary and critical feedback that I received. It helped me feel confident about how my first module turned out, and it inspired me to make some significant changes to ensure my course prototype is it’s best version! As well, the feedback has helped my planning and development of my second module and with the overall final product that I am getting ready to share in a few short weeks! Eee!

My (fabulous) feedback summarized:

1 – Content related feedback : I received two different critiques of my module content, which initially surprised me. I expected solely tech-related feedback, so being questioned on some of my content choices was unexpected. My prototype focuses on fairy tales, and I talked about and included the words  ‘traditional fairy tales’ in the course description and within the first module. When a peer questioned – “What does traditional fairy tale mean? Who’s tradition are you talking about?” I was momentarily speechless. This peer continued to suggest that the term ‘traditional’ holds a varied significance to each individual and students, from diverse backgrounds, would have their own view of what a traditional tale meant to them. I realized what I was referring to as traditional, was actually well-known popular/mainstream North American (mostly European-based) fairy tales, that I (as a white settler, from SK) considered to be traditional. I immediately began to alter my module to ensure I was including a diverse range of fairy tales, from different countries, that presented diversity and varied cultural fairy tales. I am no longer using the term ‘traditional fairy tales’ in my module due to the narrow representation it infers. I am also considering how I can promote student diversity through sharing of each individual’s background through the stories THEY consider ‘traditional’ and have been exposed to in their lives. I think these discussions would be meaningful at the beginning of my module, during an in-class discussion, to kick-off the unit! The second content related feedback was on the content of story elements that I am focusing on; a peer suggested that further pre-teaching of these elements might be necessary before having students engage in a module that assumes their understanding of the elements of a general story, and specifically a fairy tale. I am still deciding whether I will add an extra instructional piece to this module or create a module to precede this one, through which students can review these topics to ensure understanding in this one. 

2 – Platform feedback: Feedback related to my use of Seesaw as my LMS was all complimentary. Multiple reviewers commented on the simplicity of this platform, stating that it was a perfect choice for the grade, age and content of my module. As well, many positively commented on the diverse range of features available and how Seesaw allowed for easy use for young learners with minimal online/tech experience. As well, I appreciated one peer’s  reminder that Seesaw fosters the home-school connection, easily including families in the learning process and allowing for easy use of the LMS whether at school or at home. This positive feedback was extremely helpful as I had been questioning the use of Seesaw for this project: is it too basic? Should I have explored Canvas, WordPress or another more complex LMS? Is this LMS (which is not a traditional LMS) sufficient for my prototype? Receiving praise on this platform reassured me of my choice as the best option for the purposes of my grade three fairy tale blended course. This reminded me of a peer’s in-class feedback: this peer told me that she liked the simplicity and seamless accessibility of my Seesaw platform. She also reminded me of my audience of students ages 7-9, reassuring me that simple is key. Seesaw allowed this simplicity while having no shortages of diverse features for me to utilize.

3 – Assessment feedback: I also received complimentary feedback on my assessments. I felt like I did a good job on ensuring I had varied diagnostic, formative and summative assessments in module one and throughout my course overall. I received feedback on my Lumi assessment plan: due to Lumi needing a paid subscription, to receive results from the interactive assessments, I suggested that I would have students upload a photo of their Lumi finished assessment to me on Seesaw so I could review and mark. A peer suggested that this idea would be tricky to manage and students would need support with this process, as well as potential supervision to ensure results were accurately shared. This feedback made me rethink this assessment form and I have decided to remove the Lumi assessment from my assessment plan, and rather have it for students’ to simply check their own learning. I will change the interaction to allow students to retake the assessment if they want, as the point is no longer to inform me of their learning, but will be for self-reflection.

4 – Appearance feedback: I appreciate the compliments on my Seesaw module’s appearance, as I did spend a lot of time on editing the activity! Multiple reviewers commented on how this polished look makes the module activities easy for students to access, displays clear instructions and increases interest/engagement. Hearing how significant the appearance of my module was to the reviewers has impacted my next module as I am putting in the same effort into it to achieve the same benefits! 

5 – Interaction feedback: Seesaw allows for many types of interactions – comments, liking, messaging – although I did receive an idea for furthering this. One peer reviewer suggested how I could enhance the interactions of this blended course, as the actual module content was quite individual-based. For context, module one requires the students to independently read multiple fairy tales. The suggestion of “could they listen to the fairy tales in small groups? Read them aloud to each other?” helped me see the opportunity for increased collaboration here. Allowing students to engage in some of this content collaboratively, will undoubtedly increase their engagement and will be easy to include in this blended course where students are in the classroom together anyway. In my next module I will keep in mind other forms of interactions, beyond the basics included with Seesaw, to continue promoting the online community in the online module work.

6 – Feedback and Accessibility/Equity: Some feedback I received fit in perfectly with the topic of accessibility and equity discussed in class! To be honest, I had not put too much thought into the accessibility of my course before diving into this week’s content. That being said, I believe that good pedagogy focuses on adaptations to ensure student success, which includes consideration of diverse students’ needs (aka how accessible the content is and how equitable instruction and assessment is) so I had a good start already. One reviewer said that in my prototype “common issues are also taken into account, such as socioeconomic circumstances, EAL learners, and student access to technology. For example, the usage of free programs, flexible access to technology, and the availability of laptops at schools all help to overcome concerns about socioeconomic position and device availability.” This feedback helped me realize that I had (without realizing it) considered accessibility, on many levels, and that my course module was already quite accessible. Although I feel that I have inclusive course, our small group discussion in class did challenge me to consider items such as: using inclusive font size/colour/contrast, ensuring a mouse can be used with programs, inclusion of subtitles on videos (ie. YouTube), and more. I have begun (re)addressing these things in module one, and assess/equity has been at the forefront of my module two planning! As well, I liked the idea of an online accessibility checker and plan to use that before my final submission. If anyone has a recommendation for one that could check my course (Seesaw), let me know!

…ok that was A LOT. Honestly, I found this “summary” very much like a reflection of my own understanding of the feedback I received. While I realize it might be the world’s longest ‘summary’ I just want to defend my lengthy post by explaining that writing this was extremely helpful in my own digestion of the feedback. I took all the main points that stood out to me, and felt like I was writing a personal diary entry of my internal dialogue. This examination allowed me to further understand and appreciate the feedback received – complimentary and constructive. Upon further reflection (with the help of this blog prompt) I especially appreciated how much of my feedback authentically connected to our course topic of access/equity, displaying both areas where I made my course very accessible and areas where I could increase accessibility for a further equitable course overall.

Thanks for reading and thanks to all who were a part of the fabulous feedback I received – I appreciate you! 🙂



  • Meagan

    Hey Teagan! I love how you decided to share this feedback. While we might have chosen different projects in different grades, the feedback you shared here had me connecting it to our own project, especially the discourse on what was considered ‘traditional.’ Appreciated your ‘long summary’ 🙂

  • Matthew

    Teaching in isolation is a real thing – I often find that like you, I give a huge amount of feedback to students, but rarely from my receive any from my colleagues and peers. Student feedback mechanisms are relatively easy to employ (exit slips, journal entries), but it has been years since I have had annother teacher watch me teach – I think this speaks volumes to issues in educational leadership, professional development, and the amount of time and money that is dedicated to improving instruction. As you noted it was nice to get suggestions and affirmations. I think that as teachers, we are often our own worst critics. Everytime I see an amazing lesson I often feel inferior as an instructor, so it is nice to know that I am doing some things well. Strangely enough it was not the technical elements of my modules that needed the most improvement (which I thought would be a focus), but on the coneptual side of things.

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