Feedback is an indispensable feature of the learning process. Constructive feedback that is specific, timely, and based on observations; bridges theory and practice, enhances self-awareness and builds holistic competence in social work students. There is still a significant quantity of studies examining the importance of feedback and how this teaching mechanism facilitates student learning.
Both teachers and students may benefit from relevant information which highlights strengths and achievements as well as areas for improvement. Positive or negative, it must be objective and communicated effectively to avoid misinterpretation and hurt feelings.
Tips for giving effective feedback to learners
Intergenerational gaps and professional status may make you appear less relatable to your students. Mutual respect and understanding on what stage of the learning phase your students/trainees are will bring you closer to your learners.
- Concentrate on the behavior, not the person
- Balance the content
- Be specific
- Be realistic
- Own the feedback (it’s your opinion, not universal)
- Be timely
- Offer continuing support
Non-verbal feedback is just as important as the words we use
When you express discomfort or aggression with your body language, the other person may feel uncomfortable and may not listen to you or take your advice.
Some of the nonverbal cues that can help deliver feedback in an effective way:
1. Facial expression. Humans internally register what another person is feeling by experiencing it in our own bodies, thus when someone smiles, we smile. When someone frowns, we frown. We pick up on these emotions so much that we can tell if someone is smiling even if we cannot see them – so same goes for delivering feedback over the phone.
2. Attention. If you are focusing on your email inbox, the time, or something flashy outdoors, it is difficult to give honest feedback and expect behavior change. It is unfair to presume that the person you are giving feedback to is entirely present since the person you are talking to can detect if your mind is wandering and if you are not fully present.
In order to give good feedback, you must also learn to understand your learners. Check out our articles about active listening: “The Importance of Active Listening“, “Active listening for teachers” and “Active listening for teachers (part 2)”
Thank you for your attention and leave your feedback! 🙂