Providing Feedback Electronically

eFeedback is the use of electronic communications to provide information to students about their work. As with all feedback, it includes the comments, questions, and information on how we are achieving our predetermined goal. eFeedback is a dialogue between the learners and their instructors which provides information on what is good, any misconceptions, what needs to be improved and how to improve the work either in-progress or completed. Good feedback will trigger reflection, learning and improvement.

Methods and Technologies

Electronic feedback (e-feedback) uses technologies to provide information to learners on their learning; the aim is to advance the instructor-learner communication or conversation (Denton, Madden, Roberts, & Rowe, 2008). Examples of technologies and tools include: typed comments; stylus scribe; audio; video; automated or computer-generated comments; and discussion forums.

Historically, feedback has been provided through oral, meta-verbal, or written communications. It is possible to provide effective feedback using various technologies especially with the use of ever growing range of information and communications technologies (ICTs).

Method, Technology, eFeedback, Match

Many technologies lend themselves to a variety of feedback methods. Understanding a technology’s flexibility will help you find more creative ways to use them. Costello & Crane (2015) match Feedback methods and suitable technologies.

MethodTechnologyType of eFeedbackExample/Comments
Automated TutorsAutomated Computer-generated commentsQuiz feedback within LMS, prompts in an online activity
Auto-scored assignmentsAutomated Computer-generated comments and associated scoresPopular in quizzes, self-checks and games
EmoticonsWord processor; Text message; Digital video; Automated Icons that express assessor’s emotion towards work being assessedWord stamps, thumbs up, smiley faces
ePortfolioWord processor; Pen & tablet; Pencast; Digital audio; Digital video Work samples illustrating learner’s progress; may involve feedback on work in progressWork samples may include images, written texts, audio or video, certificates
Meta-verbalText message; Digital audio; Digital video Non-spoken communicationGestures, body language, tone, facial expression etc.
Oral commentsDigital audio; Digital video; Personal response system (“clickers”) Spoken words, either synchronous or asynchronousGroup discussions, audio or video
Peer feedbackWord processor; Pen & tablet; Pencast; Text message; Digital audio; Digital video; Personal response system (“clickers”) Critically thought feedback from other students on one’s work, may include suggestions for improvementGroup participation, papers, presentations, portfolios
Reflective networksWord processor; Pen & tablet; Pencast; Digital audio; Digital video; Personal response system (“clickers”) Learners share their learning with others in order to gain deeper understandingPeer tutoring, blogging, etc.
Self-checksAutomated; Personal response system (“clickers”) Self scored quizzes that help learners gauge their learning progressWritten comments – texted-based comments on work

Here is some more information on feedback technologies.


  • Costello, J., & Crane, D. (2015). Promoting Effective Feedback in Online Learning. In S. Keengwe (Ed.) Handbook of Research on Active learning and the Flipped Classroom Model in the Digital Age. IGI Global: Hershey, PA.
  • Costello, J., & Crane, D. (2009, October). Providing learner-centered feedback using a variety of technologies. Paper presented at EDGE 2009 conference, St. John’s, Newfoundland.
  • Denton, P., Madden, J., Roberts, M., & Rowe, P. (2008). Students’ response to traditional and computer-assisted formative feedback: A comparative case study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 486-500. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00745.x
  • Ice, P., Swan, K., Kupczynski, L., & Richardson, J. (2008). The impact of asynchronous audio feedback on teaching and social presence: A survey of current research. In Proceedings of world conference on educational multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications 2008 (pp. 5646-5649). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from
Resource created by Jane C. & Daph C.