Are you an online ESL teacher? Well then, you’ve probably heard of Feedback Panda.
You’ve just taught 10 classes back to back. You are tired, but you are going to have to submit feedback to all of the students. You’ve had enough screen time and ready to flop!
What is Feedback Panda?
Feedback Panda is an organizational app that connects to multiple online teaching companies, such as VIPKid, Gogokid, and Magic Ears.
It allows the user to create feedback in a pinch, by managing student data and records and providing access to thousands of feedback templates.
Is Feedback Important?
Oftentimes, feedback is not paid for and it is just part of the parcel with online teaching.
Students and parents need to see their progress, review what they’ve learned, and see how they can improve for next time.
If parents are absent from lessons or too busy to watch the recordings, feedback might be the only way for them to know how the student got on.
Feedback can actually enhance parents’ decision to leave a 5-star review or come back for future lessons.
Parents are paying big bucks and want to know the result. So with all this in mind, we have to include simple yet effective feedback for our classes to show them how much we care.
How much does Feedback Panda cost?
Feedback Panda works out at $15 per month, which costs less than a single lesson price. If you purchase this, you are paying about 50c per day to complete one to two hours’ worth of feedback.
If you want to try the yearly subscription, you get two months free, making it $150 per year. This works out at approximately 41c per day. Again, this could save you one or two hours of work for just 41 cents!
You may also be interested in: The Best English Teaching Companies in 2022.
Using Feedback Panda: My Personal Experience
Considering all this, I decided to sign up for Feedback Panda and give it a whirl. I wanted to see if it was really worth the hype.
Some questions I had starting out were:
- Can this thing really save me time?
- Does it work for regular and non-regular students?
- Am I actually saving money by using this?
How to Get Started
I signed up for Feedback Panda and confirmed my 30-day free trial by verifying my account through the confirmation e-mail.
When I log in, I am allowed to select the school that I work for and I am able to schedule a webinar for new users, which shows me how to access Feedback Panda through my extension and launcher, how to access the cloud and the templates.
There are 30 schools mentioned:
- Zebra English
- Magic Ears
- Landi English
- First Future
- Hugo English
- Am Class
- Whales English
- Class 100
- WuHao/ PK Fish School
- Orange Talk
- US Kid
- Tutor Ming
- 51 Talk
- Hujiang School
- Brick and Mortar School
- Or Other
I’ve worked with five different online schools over the past 4 years, so I know that each school’s feedback layout is different.
If your school is not listed, you can even select ‘other’ and ‘Dada.’ I selected ‘other’ because I wanted to see if this can work for both private students that you’re teaching and students from online teaching companies.
You are allowed to select as many schools as you wish. When you select your school, a video pops up to tell you how to use Feedback Panda in “three easy steps.”
Feedback Panda invites teachers to download the Feedback Panda Extension and Launcher. Teachers can download it to Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.
At the moment, the Feedback Panda Extension works for:
- Landi English
- Magic Ears
- iTutorgroup (TutorABC)
The launcher is especially for VIPKid teachers, which connects to the VIPKid app, which allows access to Feedback Panda from inside the classroom.
You will notice that there is also live chat support available at the corner of your screen to help you get set up. So far so good. It’s time to download the extension and see if it works.
After downloading I entered my classroom on my Dada app… And nothing.
I then realized that hey, this is actually a browser extension for Google Chrome. So I went on to Google Chrome and logged in to the Dada portal there.
A little Panda appeared beside all my classes like so:
From here, I was able to click the little Panda icon and be directed to Feedback Panda.
Feedback Panda automatically loaded the student information:
When you hover over the student’s name, you will be able to click ‘edit’ and enter the personal details of the student, including their birthday, ID, description, and other information.
You can choose from some templates already in the cloud and import them for your own use, tweaking a few things or you can create your own templates, which you can then use again and again.
I was a little bit disappointed with the current templates for Dada. There weren’t very many to choose from, and I couldn’t instantly use these to my advantage.
I already have my own template for use when I teach with Dada that I use. Here is my typical report using the Dada:
When importing a template, the template was set in such a way that I just needed to add his name and I could save the template to use.
From here, I could copy and paste this feedback into my Dada classroom homework report. The student’s name and feedback are saved for future use.
You are also able to create and edit new templates so that you a few different templates to choose from each time.
You can make adjustments to the templates whenever necessary and copy and paste it into your classroom.
- It’s a time saver
- You can make edits to the feedback
- Integrates seamlessly with many online teaching schools
- Manages and saves information about the student
It might take you up to 10-minutes to give feedback to the student when it comes to online teaching.
That means if you have six 25-minute classes each day (3 hours total), you have one hour’s worth of feedback to give.
That’s an hour that you could be teaching class, but instead, you are spending so much time writing feedback and not getting much in return!
Or you could use Feedback Panda and spend one minute uploading the student and picking a template to use for today’s class (assuming you have the templates already imported and prepared.)
You just saved yourself A LOT of time. And you keep the parents happy with high-quality feedback.
- The cloud only saves comments, not homework
- May be grammatical errors in the templates you import
- You have to build up your bank of templates
Let’s say you are like me, and the bulk of your time spent writing feedback is not the comment report but the actual homework.
Although Feedback Panda integrates with Dada, it does not give you somewhere to upload or organize your homework files.
It would be nice to be able to access homework files and drag them to the platform, instead of storing all the homework files separately on your computer, so you could manage everything in one place.
I also noticed that some of the templates created by other teachers were of poor quality. You have to sift through the templates to find one that resonates with you.
This is pretty easy to do when you sort the templates by popularity.
Feedback Panda for VIPKid Teachers
A lot of teachers swear by Feedback Panda. Not only does it help them provide high-quality feedback to students and encourages more bookings and even more ‘apples’ from parents.
This gives the teacher more popularity and coverage, thus boosting their profile on the platform.
Feedback Panda must think this to be the case too as they created a special ‘Launcher’ extension with the VIPKid Classroom, allowing you to complete your reports in the classroom.
They are supposed to be creating even more special integrations in the future, but now they just have the ‘Launcher’ for VIPKid.
Feedback Panda Review: The Verdict
Based on my current experience with Feedback Panda, I can see how this could be a valuable asset for teachers.
When you import templates or create your new template, you can add [name] in brackets. Feedback Panda will load with the student’s name automatically.
You also have time to review and save any changes before copying and pasting.
So, to answer my questions from earlier:
Can it work with regular and nonregular students?
Yes, it can. Although you probably wouldn’t want a pile of non-regular students saved on there. Just copy and paste one of the templates for them rather than uploading their names and IDs.
Does it work for private students or schools not listed?
Yes, it works. You can create a separate school and name it whatever you want. However, you will have to create your own templates as there are no readymade templates imported for the schools not listed.
Am I actually saving money with this?
I am not saving money, but I am saving time, my most valuable asset. It only costs 40c per day, so I can use this hour that I would normally be writing feedback to do something more productive.
Panda Teacher is worth it when you factor in time. It is like having your own virtual assistant.
How was your experience with Feedback Panda? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.