Establish a Feedback and Progress Monitoring System

Discover ways to establish a feedback and progress monitoring system that will inform your learning community of teacher, students, and families.

Grades K-12 7 min Resource by:
Listen to this article

You have established your communication plan, chosen your delivery tool for the live virtual session, designed your session, and possibly even delivered a session or two with students. Now it is time to get some feedback and make sure your students are connected, engaged, and learning. It’s also the time to make sure that your students’ parents/guardians are informed and empowered.

How will I know how my students are doing?

You will not be able to rely on walking around the classroom to check in with students and see how they are doing. Instead, you’ll need to develop an intentional remote-learning system for gathering feedback. If possible, design each lesson with a feedback component woven meaningfully into the learning experience.

These feedback opportunities are often activities that allow students to process their learning while also getting feedback on their progress and informing the teacher at the same time.

Options for self-paced remote learning include:

  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Project checkpoints
  • Online games or activities with analytics

Options for live remote learning include:

  • Digital entry and exit tickets
  • Discussions
  • Chats, both group and private
  • Low-risk polling
  • Visual symbols/cues, such as holding up different colored cards or “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Don’t Know Yet” signs
  • Word clouds
  • Sketch responses
  • Collaborative whiteboarding
  • Collaborative writing/posting in a shared document

When designing student activities, consider not only what you want students to process and practice but also what types of information will help inform you as their teacher. This information can help you improve your practice and inform next steps.

  • Which students need support or remediation?
  • Which students need extension opportunities?
  • How are my students feeling about this learning experience?
  • Are students engaged, or are they “checking out”?
  • Do I see a trend that tells me I should modify what comes next for the entire class?
  • How has group size or lesson structure impacted learning?

How will my students know how they are doing?

For students to be successful, they need to know whether they are on the right track. We don’t want them continuing to practice a skill incorrectly or giving up due to frustration. To set students up for success, teachers must consider ways for students to receive frequent and timely feedback. Whenever possible, incorporate multiple ways for students to receive feedback.

Explore the below list of possible feedback sources. Some will work in both self-paced and live remote learning, and some will apply more to one of the options.


  • Self-Paced Remote Learning
  • Live Remote Learning
    • Self-reflection prompts
    • Checklists that they can mark off during the session


  • Self-Paced Remote Learning
    • Written feedback
    • Video or audio comments
    • Grades on submitted work (scores or rubrics)
    • Live video or audio check-ins
    • Email messages
    • Text messaging systems (Remind)
    • Discussion posts
  • Live Remote Learning
    • Small-group check-in
    • One-on-one check-in
    • Digital discussions (chat)
    • Body language
    • Digital feedback (word clouds, polls, etc.)


  • Self-Paced Remote Learning
    • Peer review
    • Group work
    • Discussion posts
    • Comments on posted materials
  • Live Remote Learning
    • Peer chat
    • Group work
    • Discussion posts
    • Digital reactions
    • Digital breakout rooms


  • Self-Paced Remote Learning
    • Self-scoring tests
    • Online games
    • Self-paced folders
  • Live Remote Learning
    • Low-stakes polling
    • Word clouds
    • Collaborative documents

How will parents/guardians know how students are doing?

Parents/guardians are an important part of a remote-learning support system, and we need to consider ways to keep them informed and empowered. After all, these are the people who will be supporting our students directly in their remote-learning environment. Oftentimes, they will be relied upon to help our students gain internet and computer access, and they will need to assist our younger learners in accessing necessary digital resources.

Consider ways that you can empower parents/guardians and provide them with options to check student progress:

  • Actively send regular communication.
    • Possible options include:
      • Email
      • School messaging systems
      • US mail for those without internet
      • Text messaging systems (Remind)
      • Posts to a learning management system (LMS) message board
      • Providing a live virtual-learning session for parents/guardians
  • Provide access to a gradebook that shows the progress of their student and communicate how to access it.
    • Student information system (SIS)
    • Within an LMS
  • Provide contact information.
    • Preferred method (email, phone, etc.)
    • Acceptable times to reach out to you and how soon to expect a response
  • Provide information about live virtual-learning sessions.
    • Where and how do students attend?
    • Will parents/guardians need to help younger learners?
  • Provide information about daily assignments.
    • Where and when will these be posted?
    • Will parents/guardians need to help younger learners?