Well, it finally happened. The latest update to Mac OS X, Yosemite, broke one piece of software that I use every week – Podcast Maker. I’ve been using Podcast Maker for many years. It did one thing, turn basic text information into nicely formed code that I could then copy into TextWrangler in order to create the xml file for iTunes to recognize the latest podcast episode. Very handy. I believe that I paid $35 for it at some point. It was $35 well spent.
Now, I’m back to hand coding the xml file. Although not my favorite activity, there is a certain challenge to it. Coding is either right or not. Thus, if I do happen to make a mistake, the podcast feed just doesn’t work. I do get nearly immediate feedback on the process. Did I get everything right or not? I know as soon as I upload the file and hit refresh in iTunes. If the new episode shows up, I got it right. If not, well……
How often do we provide students with that same experience? Not waiting for the teacher to validate the work, but objective, right or wrong feedback? Not everything fits into the model. But, immediate feedback is pretty powerful. This is one reason that I was so happy to find the rubric grading model in Moodle. And the teacher who uses it for feedback on oral presentations. Sure, students can get some immediate feedback on a presentation, but that feedback is probably too nuanced for them to truly understand.
One thing that I really like about Moodle is the power and flexibility to provide students with feedback. Feedback can occur instantaneously with known answers (like multiple choice or cloze) or can be provided by the teacher. Feedback is powerful. According to Marzano, providing feedback is one of the high-yield strategies. I can attest that when it comes to hand coding xml files, it sure is effect.