Week 4: Feedback Comments Posted on February 7, 2021 by ailtukhova I decided to analyze my feedback comments to peers during the second week and try to answer the following questions: 1) Does this activity enhance learning?2) Besides the number of comments or words, what else can be quantified in a written message?3) Tracking comments as measuring learning, is it a good idea? Can technology perform this well? From the perspective of contemporary learning theories, like constructivism and connectivism, writing feedback comments can be part-and-parcel of learning, since it suggests participation and connecting to ‘more knowledgeable others’, interpretation and meaning-making in the process of reflection, and, in the ideal world, brings to creating a community of learners. I also find contributing to my peers’ blogs beneficial for my learning, since it enables me to extend my understanding of the subject, revise some ideas as well as gain new insights and inspiration. In digital educational formats, like MOOCs, automated tracking of feedback comments is one of few ways to measure students’ engagement with the learning content, which has its obvious limitations in terms of evaluating quality and relevance of messages. In my self-reporting, I tried to address this through depicting meaning and implying that 100% of my comments are relevant. Is the technology able to do this today? Maybe not at this stage. However, if it is, will these data enhance learning? Perhaps, the comments analysis is not that helpful for students, but can be insightful for teachers in the form of signals that need investigation, like abuse, sudden disappearance of all comments, ignoring particular learners, too many identical comments (maybe a bot) etc. In conclusion, tracking comments may be more informative than tracking the time spent on the platform in terms of measuring learners’ engagement, but it is still a ‘trade-off between the reliability of the data that can be collected and the richness of what can be measured’ (Eynon, p.408). and should never be used as the only criterion for assessment or feedback.