Aside: a Web-based Student Feedback Tool

Dr. David A. Black
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"Aside" is an open-source Web utility which allows a student and teacher to enter into an on-going exchange of messages, with the student's identity remaining unknown to the teacher throughout.

This one-way anonymity (which is not available through email or other existing message exchange systems) means that students can give feedback, or ask questions they're not comfortable asking in person, not only on evaluation forms handed in when the course has already ended but while the course is still in progress. Similarly, teachers can benefit from such feedback while it's still meaningful for the current semester.

Most importantly, and very differently from traditional forms of feedback, Aside allows the teacher to respond to feedback — and the student to respond to the teacher's response, and so forth. This emphasis on exchange and discussion is at the heart of Aside. By setting up a kind of "one-way mirror" environment for such discussion, Aside introduces a new kind of exchange, as between student and teacher, qualitatively different from email (which is not anonymous), end-of-term evaluations (which are not timely), anonymous notes (which cannot be responded to or discussed), and other existing forms of communication.

In this presentation, Aside will be demonstrated and discussed by its author/programmer.

Keywords: Education, Pedagogy, World Wide Web
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. David A. Black

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Seton Hall University

David A. Black is an Associate Professor of Communication at Seton Hall University. He is the author of "Law in Film" (University of Illinois Press, 1999), and has written articles for "Media, Culture and Society", "Cinema Journal", the journal 'Literature and Psychology', and the 'Yale Journal of Criticism', among others. He is a contributor to the "Encyclopedia of New Jersey" (Rutgers University Press, 2004) and the "Critical Dictionary of Film and Television Theory" (Routledge, 2001), and served as Consultant Editor for the latter. Dr Black is also a computer programmer and a founding director of the non-profit programming organization Ruby Central, Inc. In that capacity, he has organized or co-organized an international conference on the Ruby programming language every year since 2001.

Ref: T05P0216