Using feedback to promote student participation in online learning programs: evidence from a quasi-experimental study

  • Jessica LiEmail author
  • Seohyun Claire Wong
  • Xue Yang
  • Allison Bell
Development Article


How should learner analytics and different media be used to optimize feedback to increase students’ motivation and sense of learning community in online learning programs? This study was designed to examine the usage of feedback delivery methods (text only, video only, or both) and learner analytics (individual vs. class average) to answer the above question. Two consecutive surveys were administrated to the students of a series of online courses over four semesters which resulted in a sample of 96. Using this quasi-experimental design, we aimed to capture changes in students’ perceived feedback quality, motivation, and sense of learning community when different feedback delivery methods and learner analytics were introduced. The findings revealed that students who received both video and text feedback were least motivated and lowest in their sense of online learning community when compared with students who received just video or text feedback. No significant differences were found between students who received video or text feedback regarding motivation and their sense of learning community. The findings also showed that when sharing class average, students’ motivation decreased. This study provides insights into how instructors might use media and learner analytics when designing feedback to motivate and promote student learning in online learning programs.


Student feedback Motivation Online learning community Learner analytics Video feedback Online learning 



We thank the Journal Editor and anonymous referees for their useful suggestions and comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All authors have reviewed and agreed with the manuscript at this current form to submit for the consideration of possible publication by ETR&D. The authors declare that we have complied with the ethical standards outlined by the journal, and there is no conflict of interest, and no grant or other financial support received for this study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

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