Quality Matters Monday: Standard 5.3

General Standard 5 addresses course activities and learner interaction to meet the learning objective goals. This standard specifically addresses the instructor’s plan for classroom response time and for clearly stating feedback on assignments.

QM Standard 5.3 states: Frequent feedback from the instructor increases learners’ sense of engagement in a course. Learners are better able to manage their course activities when they know upfront when to expect feedback from the instructor. Courses should provide clear information about when learners will receive instructor responses to emails and discussion postings, feedback on assignments, and grades. This information typically appears in the course syllabus. If it is necessary to alter the response-time standards during the course, the adjustment is clearly communicated to learners.

It’s always important to clearly state response time for all types of communication and to have an actual plan for feedback on assignments and discussions. Setting the expectations for your communication upfront keeps the students from having unrealistic expectations of 24/7 customer service. Plus, it can reduce additional questions and anxiety. Providing constructive feedback in a timely manner also helps students prepare for the next assignment submission by using the feedback received from a previous assignment to improve the quality of future assignments.