Higher Education

If You Want Student Responses to be Authentic, be Authentic Back

A video showing how personalized feedback fuels learning

Jeff Przybylo doesn’t just rely on rubrics and text to score assignments. He incorporates personalized responses in his feedback to make connections and be authentic with his students.


Jeff Przybylo:

Be authentic back. So if I’m creating an assignment where they have to be authentic coming at me, then I need to go be authentic coming back. Now, I love GoReact’s rubrics, I’ve been using them, I lean on them, I’ve really been developing them. My rubrics are not just superior thoroughfare I’ve written very formative descriptions. So my rubric is also teaching, but more importantly, I use GoReact to do what we’re doing right here. So when I watch an informative speech online, which takes a lot of time and your butt falls asleep, I’ve got 70 online students this semester, I watch the entire introduction and then I stopped their speech. I don’t watch the rest of it. I hit the video and I talk to them, I coach them. I spend two or three minutes saying, “All right, your attention getter was this. Your central idea looked good. You really need to work on your justification. I love your delivery style. Your setting is great.”

I mean, I just spill everything out of my head. I’ve been a speech coach for almost 40 years, so we’re used to doing that with our speech team and debate students, but we never really do it with our classroom students. I mean, we do a little bit afterwards. So they’re getting coached in the middle and then I say, “I’m going to watch the rest of your speech and then I’m going to visit with you again at the end.” I watch the rest of it. I jot down some notes, I have good shorthand techniques and at the end of the speech I say, give my opinion. Give them compliment, do the compliment sandwich, tell them all the good things, tell them what they could be working on, leave them with something positive. And they’re not getting a rubric, they’re getting a rubric also, but they’re not just getting copy and pasted comments, which we’ve all done. If you’re not, you should do that because it saves a lot of time.

And when you do do that, you should personalize them. That’s another thing that I do. Even if I have something really neat that helps them with a certain part of their speech, I always personalize it, whether it’s as simple as using their name or adding a quick reference to what it is they’re talking about. Those kinds of things make your feedback authentic and like I said, the most authentic thing I’ve been doing lately is talking to them.