Product Review of Floop
Floop is a cloud-based website where learners can receive annotated feedback from educators and peers. Using any internet-connected device, learners upload images of an assignment to the platform, and educators put markers in places where they want to provide written feedback. Students are able to see and respond to comments, creating a feedback loop that allows educators to see patterns of student learning. Teachers may choose to run anonymous peer review sessions where learners respond to guided questions on their classmates’ work and in return receive comments on their submissions. For this feature, educators can monitor feedback sessions and view student responses, but they can’t comment on them.
Teachers build a bank of drag-and-drop comments over time, which increases efficiency. However, since there’s no library of pre-created comments, it will take educators a while to build their bank. Although there’s a search feature for comments, there’s no way to organize them by topic or learning goal. Teachers should keep this in mind when creating their comments so that they’re only adding the most useful ones to the bank.
Teachers stretched for time may find Floop to be a useful way to increase the quality and quantity of feedback learners receive and show learners the value of using teacher and peer comments to improve learning outcomes. Because educators can respond to individual learners as well as run peer review sessions, the amount of feedback learners can receive increases significantly. While it doesn’t replace the conversations that are vital to student understanding, educators can use this platform to provide learners with actionable steps they can take to improve upon their writing, mathematical thinking, digital drawing, or pretty much any task they can capture in an image.
Consider pairing Floop with a tool like Flipgrid or Screencast-o-matic, and ask learners to explain their thinking process or respond to feedback they received from classmates during a peer review. Teachers should also consider using the site’s Feedback Literacy curriculum, which consists of a series of scaffolded lessons that teach kids how to seek and make sense of feedback so that they can use it to learn.
Note: Teachers may want to limit themselves to two to three pieces of feedback per student, especially at first. Giving much more than that might set up unrealistic expectations about how much back-and-forth learners should expect — and it could be overwhelming. It’s much more effective to give learners a few pieces of high-quality feedback and then give them the space to revise their work and grow as independent learners.
Floop makes it possible for learners to receive teacher and peer feedback in less time than traditional methods, which is valuable because effective feedback is a solid, research-backed teaching and learning strategy. Since educators can see the learners‘ replies, and learners can submit new versions of their work, it’s a great fit for formative assessment. Plus, learners are learning social and emotional skills like perseverance and self-reflection as they revise. Guiding learners through the process of giving effective feedback to their peers sharpens learners‘ ability to think critically. Taking the feedback and making changes to their initial work encourages metacognition.
Specifically, the ability to add markers to target spots in a student’s work, include comments, and see that student’s reply creates a powerful loop that grading by hand doesn’t offer. And, if educators take some time to build up a bank of their commonly used comments, it could save a lot of time if they encounter lots of similar stumbling blocks on assignments. Floop’s peer review feature is also a great addition, though it would be helpful for educators to be able to weigh in on those threads in case there’s misinformation. If educators could record audio feedback, it would make Floop more accessible.
Ultimately, Floop’s impact on student learning depends on the quality of the feedback and how learners interact with it, but the tool offers the features a teacher needs to maximize that impact.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Receiving timely feedback and being able to respond and ask the teacher questions privately encourages student buy-in.
Curriculum and Instruction
With teacher guidance and meaningful feedback from peers, there are real opportunities for skill-building and deeper conceptual understanding.
The platform is easy to learn and use. Additional supports such as text-to-speech or the ability to record audio feedback would assist learners with unique learning needs.