Four Ways to Give Good Feedback


1. Supply information about what the learner is doing, rather than simply praise or criticism.

specific information about how the learner is performing a task is much more helpful than mere praise or, especially, criticism. In particular, research by Hattie, Timperley, and others has found that feedback is most effective when it provides information on what exactly the learner is doing right, and on what he or she is doing differently (and more successfully) than in previous attempts.

2. Take care in how you present feedback.

When learners sense that their performance is being too closely monitored, for example, they may disengage from learning out of feelings of nervousness or self-consciousness. To counter this impression, the purpose of observing or supervising should be fully explained and learners’ consent obtained. Better yet, learners should be involved in collecting and analyzing data

Empower learners rather than controlling them by giving them access to information about their own performance and teaching them how to use it.

a third feedback condition that can reduce learners’ engagement is an uncomfortable sense of competition. To avoid this, emphasize that you are sharing feedback with students or workers not to pit them against each other, but rather to allow them to compete against their own personal bests.

3. Orient feedback around goals.

“Where am I going?” (That is: What is my goal?) “How am I going?” (That is: What progress is being made toward my goal?) Lastly, “Where to next?” (That is: What actions must be taken to make further progress?)

4. Use feedback to build metacognitive skills.

The ultimate goal of feedback, in other words, should be to teach learners how to give feedback to themselves.


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