Making feedback more visible to students
| This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas
For more information, please read through the Canvas Release Notes (2021-11-20).
- Say I grade an assignment that a student submitted. They go to the assignment, and can see straight-away a general comment on the lower right-hand side. That's visible by default. Fine and good.
- But what about all the comments embedded in the document view? Those are not automatically displayed, and there is no marker to show that such comments have been embedded in the document. There should be at minimum a big icon saying feedback is embedded, for sure, so go look at it. Currently, "View Feedback" link is always present, regardless of whether feedback has been embedded or not.
- Furthermore, the rubric grade is displayed in the upper-right corner, but the detailed rubric view is hidden until students think to click "Show Rubric"... yet even then, the written feedback that I have provided on each rubric criteria remains hidden from view! Students have to hunt for that feedback by clicking the easily-overlooked speech-bubble icon one-at-a-time for each criterion. But I don't necessarily write a comment for each criterion, and there is no visual sign or indication that a comment has been written or not.
How are students supposed to know and remember to check all of these various locations to receive the complete set of feedback provided by their instructors? It is utterly inefficient and defeatist because students don't seem to realize that all this feedback is sitting there waiting for them--and they don't know to look for it.
Now, from a student point of view, I don't want to have to click in so many different places to hunt (perhaps fruitlessly) for feedback that my instructor might or might not have left for me (since there is no indicator signalling the existence of written comments).
The fact that written feedback has been given within the submitted file and within the rubric should be foregrounded--it should be made highly visible to the students checking their grades. That feedback is part of the learning process. It is essential for students to read that feedback in order to improve their work. If they don't know it is there, what is the point?
Don't force users to guess and hunt for feedback. They won't do it. Make it obvious that the feedback has been given by putting some kind of big symbol or message next to the assignment doc (or by displaying the assignment by default so students can see that margin comments etc have been embedded in the file) and also by automatically displaying the rubric WITH the written feedback already visible. Don't make the students click in three hundred different places to get all their feedback for a single assignment. Please.
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I sent this to our engineer and he'll double check to see what's going on.
Hi, Paula (and Shane),
Looks like something happened but we'll get another ticket in for review. Sorry for the delay!
Okay... well, that will helps a little bit. The "View Feedback" is moved over maybe two inches to the left. However, as @shane_ohara mentions, it's still possible for the window to be too small to view the link. Here's what it looks like on production vs beta (for Nov 18, 2017 release):
First image is how it looks now, second and third images are how it will look after the Nov-18-2017 release. As you can see from the third image, it's still possible for browser window to be too small. And it's not even that small - if your browser window is less than 1170 pixels wide, the link disappears.
I'd echo the suggestions of putting somewhere (anywhere!) else, like under the document link, on the next line.
Our engineer is fixing the link so that it is visible in smaller windows. I don't have an ETA though he is working on it.
Matthew, Thanks for showing this. This change does not seem like a significant improvement to me. The feedback should be really obvious, so obvious that students cannot fail to see it. Otherwise, all of our work is wasted.
I'm not sure if the fix that the product engineers were working on actually made it to last Saturday's release, but I am still seeing the View Feedback link disappear for students at a certain browser width, screencast no audio: view-feedback-still-being-hidden.mov - Google Drive
The View Feedback link has been corrected in our beta environment, and you'll see it in production on December 9. The fix wouldn't have had time to be completed and make it through QA before the November 18 release, which is why it's in this one.
Hope that helps!
MUCH better, Erin! Thank you...
I would still just love to see the first screen students see looking exactly like the SpeedGrader view. The "Submission Details" screen has very little information on it, and no information that isn't duplicated on the SpeedGrader screen. Even if teachers don't provide annotated feedback, I find the SpeedGrader screen more intuitive for viewing the rubric (currently an unnecessary mouseclick). Students find it counter-intuitive to be on what they thought was ALREADY a feedback screen, and have to find ANOTHER "View Feedback" link. Link placement aside, I just don't see why there are so many mouseclicks.
Students have to go through several steps to see feedback. WHY?! Why is this so hard. Teachers spend hours using the cumbersome Speed Grader function in Canvas, only to have students not know the feedback is there, or give up after it takes too long to find the feedback. The steps to view feedback impede student learning.
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