This article provides best practices and practical instructions on how to set up the Feedback activity in Moodle and Totara Learn.
The Feedback activity allows you to create and conduct surveys to collect feedback. Unlike the Survey module, it allows you to write custom questions, as opposed to choosing from a list of pre-written questions. The Feedback activity is ideal for course or instructor evaluations.
Another reason for using the Feedback module is that it offers the ability to set the feedback surveys ‘anonymous’, allowing sensitive issues to be surveyed without the learner or participant worrying who might see their responses.
Quantitative or qualitative evaluations of any kind involve a process of data collection for the purpose of measurement, comparison, reporting and potentially the development of an action plan based on the information gathered. This is known as learning analytics. It is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.
How to Setup the Feedback Activity
- Create a course to “contain” the feedback activity.
- Once your course shell has been created, select the Add an activity or resource button. With the editing turned on, in the section you wish to add your feedback, click the "Add an activity or resource" link.
- On the dialog box that appears, choose and Add the Feedback activity.
- The Feedback page you may expand or collapse all the settings clicking the "Expand all" or “Collapse all” link top right. Some of the Feedback settings are: i.General, ii.Availability, iii.Question and submission settings, iv.After submission, v.Common module settings, vi.Restrict access, and vii.Activity completion.
The General settings of the Feedback activity contain the following fields:
- Name This is required. It is helpful to give it a name that suggests its purpose.
- Description The text describing your Feedback survey.
- Display description on the course page Tick this box if you want your description to appear just below the name of the Feedback.
Here you can choose when users can complete feedback. These settings are optional as you can also set the availability of the feedback survey based on the completion of an activity. See Restrict access and Activity completion settings below.
- Questions and submissions settings
These settings are one of the key areas you need to think about when creating your feedback survey.
- Record user names provide you with the option for respondent anonymity.
- Allow multiple submissions gives your respondents to complete the feedback more than once. This is important when using Feedback for anonymous surveys on the front page as it will allow non-logged in users to complete the feedback.
- Enable notification of submissions if enabled notifies the instructor or course administrator of feedback submission.
- Auto number questions automates the process of numbering the questions.
- After Submission
- Show analysis page allows you to share the summary results of respondents, or shown only to instructors/facilitators..
- Completion message allows you to present respondents with a personalised message after they have answered the questions.
- Link to next activity gives you the option to add a URL to another activity or webpage which you would like them to go upon completion of the survey.
- Common Module Settings
- Availability has 3 possible settings: Show on course page, Hide from students, and Make available but not shown on course page.
- ID number allows you to set an id number for grade calculation purposes. This can be left blank if the activity is not gradable.
- Group mode is set on the course level. When this is enabled and the setting is “forced”, this may be one of three levels: no groups, separate groups or visible groups.
- Restrict Access
This becomes a visible setting if Conditional activities and Activity completion are enabled on the site and course levels. The restrict access feature enables instructors or facilitators to restrict the availability of any activity or even a course section according to certain conditions such as dates, grade obtained, group or activity completion (see below).
Restrict access settings are:
Access options for Student (learner): Must or Must not
Activity Completion conditions:
- Name of resource or activity to be completed - a list of all all course resources and/or activities will be displayed in a list for you to choose from.
- The condition that must be met in order for the activity to be marked “complete”. The options are: must be marked complete, must not be marked complete, must be complete with a pass grade or must be complete with fail grade.
- Activity Completion
This becomes a visible setting if Conditional activities and Activity completion are enabled on the site and course levels. Activity completion allows the teacher to set completion criteria in a specific activity's settings. A check (tick) appears against the activity when the student meets this criterion. The criterion might be viewing, receiving a certain score or a student marking it as complete.
An instructor or facilitator may mark an activity complete on behalf of a learner from the Activity completion report if they have the capability Override activity completion (which is enabled by default.)
The activity Completion settings are:
- Completion tracking conditions:
- Do not indicate activity completion
- Students can manually mark the activity as completed
- Show activity as complete when conditions are met
- Require view - Becomes visible only when “Show activity as complete when conditions are met” is selected. You can enforce the requirement for the learner to view the resource or activity for it to be marked complete.
- Require grade - Becomes visible only when “Show activity as complete when conditions are met” is selected. You can enforce the requirement for learners to receive a grade to receive activity completion.
- Expect completed on - Becomes visible only when “Students can manually mark the activity as completed” or “Show activity as complete when conditions are met” is selected. This is gives you the option to set an expected date range for completion if selected.
Add an activity or resourceQuestions and submissions settingsAfter Submission
Common Module Settings Show on course page, hide from students, make available but not shown on course page.
Conditional activities, activity completion must be marked complete, must not be marked complete, must be complete with a pass grade, must be complete with fail grade, conditional activities, activity completion, activity completion report, override activity completion
Once you've set up your feedback module, you need to add your questions. Click on the Edit Questions tab, then click the dropdown menu to choose the type of question.
Feedback Question Types
A test to make sure a real person is filling in the form and not an automatic spamming program of some sort. Asks a person to write out some distorted text which is displayed on screen. You normally won't need this unless you find you are getting spammed a lot.
To use this question type you need to get a key from Google reCAPTCHA.
This allows you to choose to display the course and/ or the category where the feedback is located.
Like a standard Moodle label, this allows you to add abritrary text between questions allowing for extra explanation or to divide the Feedback into sections.
Longer Text Answer
This option is for creating a text box (you specify how big it will appear in rows and columns) which people can write a long answer into.
Selecting this then offers you three alternatives:
(1) Multiple choice single answer. This will give you a series of radio buttons, which starts on 'Not selected' and then has your options afterwards. Only one can be chosen and 'Not selected' is a valid answer if the question is not set to 'required'.
(2) Multiple choice, multiple answers
(3) Multiple choice - single answer allowed (dropdown list) This type will give you a dropdown list from which only one answer can be selected.
Multiple Choice (Rated)
This is similar to the other multiple choice options, except that each option has a numerical value associated with it. You have the choice of using radio buttons or a drop-down list to display the answers.
How much do you enjoy being in class?
- I love it
- I like it
- It's OK
- I don't like it
- I hate it
It's not possible to (easily) get out an "average" score - particularly if you're asking the same question before and after an event or course. If the Drop-down List (rated) option is used, then numerical values are associated with each option, allowing an average or other measurements of any responses.
The above question might look like:
-  I love it
-  I like it
-  Its OK
-  I don't like it
-  I hate it
Which might allow for an average (e.g. "4.5 this term, up from 3.9 last term") to be calculated.
This is similar to the dropdownlist option, except that each option has a numerical value associated with it. If the Dropdownlist (rated) option is used, then numerical values are associated with each option, allowing an average or other measurements of any responses. An example could be:
How much do you enjoy being in class?
-  I love it
-  I like it
-  It's OK
-  I don't like it
-  I hate it
This allows for an average (e.g. "4.5 this term, up from 3.9 last term") to be calculated.
Here, you ask a question which must have a number as an answer and specify the acceptable range e.g. "How many arms would you like, if more than 2 were possible? (please specify 0-10)" with a range of 0-10 set in the options. It helps if you specify the acceptable range in the question text.
Short Text Answer
This option lets you specify a single line answer, with an input box which is a set number of characters long (you choose). You also specify the maximum number of characters you will accept, so that the answer is not too long and/or does not run over the length of the box on screen.
Within the Feedback module, you can create and re-use sets of Feedback questions using the Template tool.
Saving Questions as a Template
After creating a new Feedback activity and populating it with questions, you can save it as a Template for re-use by yourself or others. Navigate to the Templates tab, give the template a meaningful name and check off the Public checkbox if you want others to use the same template.
Once you've set up a template and made it public, it can be used anywhere on your site. Simply add a new Feedback activity to your course, navigate to the Templates tab and choose the correct template:
It's likely you are using the Feedback module to gauge the successfulness of your courses. Using Zoola Analytics is a great way to collect and analyse Feedback across courses and over time. Follow these best practice guidelines to ensure success with your feedback.
- Know what you need to know
Ask yourself, "Why are we collecting feedback?" "What is the end goal?" If you are looking for ways to improve your course, then ask questions that point to areas that need improvement. One of the most common pain points with feedback surveys is that they ask the wrong questions and so the feedback is useless because it doesn't give you actionable insights.
Connect with your learning objectives or current learning goals. Ask questions that will provide you feedback on whether you are meeting those objectives and goals.
- Standardize your evaluations
If you are planning to report on feedback across courses and over time, then you will want to have clean data. This begins with standardizing your questions so that they can easily be compared. The best way to do this is to use the Feedback template feature when adding new feedback modules to courses. You can always add course-specific questions below the standard questions.
You can also set up a series of questions for a period of time i.e., a term or a quarter or a year, then review your questions. If you need to change your questions, then do that for all relevant courses so that you can assess your success with the same measures.
- Ask questions that gauge the learners' competence in the material covered
To really understand the success of your course, you need to know whether or not your learners learned something and are able to use the knowledge they have acquired. Here's an example question:
How prepared are you to apply at work what you just learned during training?
- Provide space for open text feedback
Open-ended feedback allows you to get more authentic responses where you get to know what your learners really think. Even if--or especially if--the feedback is critical of your offerings, this is very rich material for you to improve your course or services.