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Optimising feedback to support Indonesia's remote/hybrid learners

Jack Brazel
Jack Brazel
Regional Director, South East Asia






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Current challenges

Hard hit by the pandemic, Indonesia’s education system has seen considerable change, from parents trying to replicate the classroom at home, to public policy aimed at helping educators maintain learning continuity in the face of uncertainty. Of course, these stop gap measures are not enough to facilitate a longer-term shift to remote/hybrid learning in which both students and educators will not only cope, but actually thrive. The consensus is that Indonesia’ s education system needs to adapt and be more agile, flexible and innovative, ensuring quality online learning.

Towards elevating learning outcomes, Indonesia’s education system would benefit from educators feeling more empowered to provide grading and feedback for modern learning environments. Feedback that ensures the requisite consistency plus accessibility to support the diversity of learners and their learning circumstances, is urgently needed. According to McKinsey, disparities in access to online learning has seen Indonesia emerge as one of the hardest-hit countries in the Asia Pacific region. These learning losses put academic achievement at risk, and also jeopardise the nation’s ambitious growth plans.

Keeping Indonesian institutions at pace with global learning trends and standards means greater investment in teaching best practice, namely, robust feedback that motivates students to learn and grow. Delivery of detailed and purposeful feedback attached to formative and summative assessments works to scaffold learners throughout their education journey, enabling teachers to guide their progress at key learning intervals. And by harnessing tech-enabled solutions and tools, educators can save precious time when enhancing these feedback loops with students, making them more frequent and impactful. With this approach, students can gain a deeper, real-time understanding of their performance and what’s needed to improve, rather than waiting until the end of a high-stakes assessment or course. Equipped with this ‘just-in-time’ feedback, students can then revise their study or seek assistance, to better prepare them for subsequent assessments.

With Indonesian educators struggling to provide guidance and feedback on student assignments and assessments in hybrid settings, institutions should consider feedback tools that complement teaching workflows and technology that integrates with pedagogy, to enhance outcomes. Tech-enabled strategies offer greater personalisation and customised feedback opportunities shown to foster students' development, and also help students learn asynchronously and develop the skills for self-paced learning.

Supporting Learners Amid Flux

When used optimally, digital tools can help cultivate a stronger connection and empower independence in students. An online tool with an extensive marking and grading system could address several problems encountered by teachers and students alike. Turnitin Feedback Studio's QuickMarks feature, for example, has a two-fold benefit. Firstly, it makes customised student feedback a realistic, quick practice for time-strapped educators via a library of feedback sets (including audio-based and drag and drop comments) that can be easily applied across multiple students, and multiple classes and assignments. Secondly, students get access to quick, meaningful feedback that can address knowledge gaps and clearly highlight next steps for learning.

Such customised grading and feedback works to strengthen the educator-student relationship, and when paired with Feedback Studio’ s PeerMark feature, can facilitate grading activities amongst peers to nurture collaboration and community, making the virtual classroom come alive

Part of the reason that some students may feel disenchanted with online learning is brought on by feelings of isolation and technological difficulties. Indeed, educators in Indonesia note that student morale has taken a hit due to the uneasy transition from a wholly in-person learning environment. Learning tools that enable feedback to be provided more frequently and in the form of voice comments, for example, can add a more personal touch for students and reduce the sense of isolation students may be feeling.

A solid framework for feedback serves another important purpose for students in remote and hybrid learning, and that is to shore up academic integrity and combat the risks of misconduct that can emerge in unchecked online environments. While the reasons for student cheating are varied, learning gaps and a lack of personal investment in assessment and associated learning outcomes, are clear precursors. Feedback can address both issues and help steer students towards doing their best, original work.

Pivoting to Student-First Approaches

A student-focused teaching approach has been shown to be effective in honing a student’s ability to integrate fully into remote learning. As self-directed learning becomes more prevalent, customised feedback, interpersonal connection, structured learning modalities, and building an online community, are all important tactics for educators moving forward. It is through solutions like Feedback Studio that institutions can enrich students' learning journey in the digital classrooms of today.

By bridging existing barriers to effective feedback, tools that enable teachers and students to connect can offer consistency and keep students engaged to build stronger learning communities.