Teaching your students about giving professional and constructive feedback
Published: Wednesday 3rd May 2017
The Student Evaluation of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys for Semester 1 units start on 8 May. This is an opportunity for you to teach your students about the importance of giving feedback that is constructive and professional.
Students play an important role in providing practical feedback about the teaching and learning they experience in their units at ACU. Rating type responses and written comments are used to improve the quality of units and teaching practices for future students of the unit.
Therefore, staff may need to emphasise, in class and through other means (e.g., online communication strategies), the value of student feedback, and that their comments should be professional, considerate and thoughtful. Advise students to be specific, provide examples and suggest strategies for improvement. It is important to let them know that inappropriate or offensive comments are not acceptable. It may be useful to remind students that ACU expects staff and students to demonstrate respect for the dignity of all human beings.
It may also be a good idea to let students know that their comments in response to the open-ended questions in the SELT survey help in clarifying the numerical summaries for rating-type items, and that their comments are taken seriously by teachers and the University.
To assist staff in communicating the above, a guide for students on giving constructive feedback is available on the ACU Learning and Teaching webpage. This can be used as a guide or distributed to students. It provides advice and examples on how students can formulate their feedback in ways that are focused and practical.