We know the value of feedback. Chickering & Gamson list "providing prompt feedback" among their seven principles for good practice. We've experienced the exhilaration of affirmation and the disappointment of scorn. They matter in deeply personal ways.
Blanchard outlines a seven step process for adding a personal touch to praise. Each step is listed below in italics followed by my reflections.
"Tell [students] up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing."
Students may not be accustomed to receiving verbal praise so it's probably a good idea to warn them ahead of time. This is best done in person but in some situations you may have to rely on an entry in the syllabus. If so, make it prominent.
"Praise [good performance] immediately."
Closely monitor students beginning a new skill by watching for correct behavior. Then praise it! Immediate praise is extremely powerful because the positive behavior is fresh in the pupil's mind.
Some computer-based exercises provide immediate feedback but it's too impersonal. Invest some time to provide personal feedback. Your students will find it much more meaningful than a computer-generated message.
"Tell [students] what they did right - be specific."
Focus attention on positive behavior. People respond best to positive reinforcement so try to catch them doing something righ. Most will understand a lack of praise means they haven't got it right yet and keep trying.
"Tell [students] how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps..."
People are social beings and relate well to the feelings of others.
"Stop for a moment of silence to let them 'feel' how good you feel."
Give your students the opportunity to empathize with your pride in their good performance. This reinforces their own pride and heightens their motivation to do well in the future.
"Encourage them to do more of the same."
Set the expectation for continuous excellence. This reaffirms your confidence in their abilities.
"Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear you support their success ..."
Shaking hands is a symbolic gesture of comradeship. As Red Green says, "We're all in this together."
You need to find your own balance between timeliness and the One Minute Praising when you teach online or blended classes. Those of us who don't meet face-to-face with with our students can use our LMS (Learning Management System) to emulate the more personal approach. You might try recording your praise with Voice Memos and sending it to your student.
Sent from my iPad