The rationale of this enquiry is to ascertain what happens when verbal feedback is used to facilitate online learning. The Scottish Government’s decision to close schools to all but Key Worker and Vulnerable children in January 2021 has allowed this enquiry to take a unique stance, wherein it will focus entirely on feedback delivered outwith the normal classroom environment. Research reveals just how powerful effective feedback can be in improving student outcomes as ‘feedback is more strongly and consistently related to achievement than any other teaching behaviour’ (Bellon et al 1991). Meaningful feedback, when delivered in a classroom setting allows pupils to learn new skills and improve on their current performance (Wiliam, 2016). Various research projects on the effectiveness of feedback have revealed ‘that the most influential form of feedback is verbal’, however the aforementioned move to online learning has led to an unavoidable drop in verbal interactions between pupil and teacher (Bromley, 2013). Thus, with the knowledge that giving pupils feedback verbally is the most effective way with which to deliver feedback in a classroom setting, it is essential that we examine the effectiveness of verbal feedback in an online environment.
The aims of this enquiry were to investigate how well feedback, when delivered remotely, could facilitate learning and help pupil progress. The main focus was on verbal feedback, delivered live or on submitted work, and the effects this has.