Feedback Health Check

To check that your feedback is provided in a way that is constructive to the student's learning and practice development, you might consider how well your intended feedback reflects the following characteristics.

Open all

Individualised and relevant feedback, demonstrates empathy and attention to the particular learning style and needs of the student, rather than comparing or generalising to other students. Link feedback to the particular learning goals of the student.

Goal directed feedback, provides assistance and increases understanding of what is expected or required of a student, with a focus on the needs of clients and the relationship to the learning goals of the student.

Feedback that is well timed and expected is given as soon as is appropriate during or after the action/behaviour (with consideration to client safety, privacy, time available for discussion and the student's readiness to hear it) to prevent further problems or embarrassment arising. Avoid waiting until halfway assessment or supervision session to provide the feedback if client-student or staff-student relationships are at risk of being negatively affected.

Feedback should be behaviour focused rather than personality focused. Feedback that refers to what the student does, allows scope for change. We might comment "you appeared to lose focus and direction when interviewing Mr J", rather than commenting "you are too vague during client interviews".

Positive and encouraging feedback, balances strengths you have observed and what the student did well with areas of weakness or that require further growth. This encourages improvement with practical and specific suggestions.

Collaborative feedback invites student involvement and agreement in identifying strengths and weaknesses, in seeking solutions, reaching conclusions and formulating plans for future action. It also assists with facilitating self-evaluation.

Change focused (non-evaluative) feedback, explores specific strategies to maintain strengths and improve weaknesses and facilitating a problem-solving approach that highlights the consequences both positive and negative of particular behaviours or actions.

Factual (not generalised) feedback, provides evidence-based examples based on observed performance that highlight actual strengths and weaknesses of modifiable behaviours you have observed. Provide specific suggestions of improvements for what students are doing, or occasions where positive behaviour was demonstrated, and discussing outcomes of each behaviour.

Feedback that is digestible, focuses on one selected area at a time or provides the student with choice about the focus of feedback first. Overloading a person with too much feedback all at once reduces the possibility that the feedback will be accommodated and used.

Respectful feedback, demonstrates mindfulness of acceptable boundaries, respecting confidentiality and using language that is non-judgmental, and provided in a relaxed mutually agreed upon setting.

I nvite feedback from the student about aids and barriers to learning as experienced on placement and about your feedback and teaching methods.

Verify perceptions, check that the student has understood the intention and meaning of the feedback. Ask the student to re-phrase the feedback received and what they found most useful. Ask if they have any concerns about the feedback.

Document your feedback, noting ongoing and specific observations and key suggestions for improvement.

Follow up on your feedback at a later date. Reflect on changes and developments that you/the student have noticed as a result of the feedback. Monitor what the student actually does with the feedback you provide. You may like to set a date to review a particular aspect of performance relating to feedback given.

Back: Communication Resources