Reflection: this is critically important for ANY type of classroom. In order for students to know where they are, how they are doing, what needs to be improved upon, and what has been mastered, they need some kind of feedback. Sometimes it's a quick quiz, sometimes it's a huge formal assessment, sometimes it's looking over to their work quickly and giving a thumbs up. Now the question is this: how do we provide adequate and meaningful feedback in a distance course? Traditional tests aren't too handy as any student has access to the internet. You can't give a thumbs up or a nod to any student in a distance course (in most scenarios, anyway). And giving lengthy, detailed feedback on other assessments can be extremely time consuming, and the feedback might not get back to the learner in a reasonable time. Personally, I think things like comments on live documents and chats/discussion boards (when done right) work quite well. The feedback is often instant and meaningful if the instructor delivers it as such.