An Approach to Feedback

Giving and receiving quality, timely and specific feedback is truly a lifelong and transferable skill.

When students have taken risks and poured a significant amount of themselves into their demonstrations of learning, receiving feedback can at times be a challenging and off-putting experience. Receiving feedback needs to truly acknowledge our students personal investment in the learning process and begin with a strengths-based focus. Considering the personal investment many of our students make in the learning process, they need to be able to participate actively in the process, after all, the demonstration of learning belongs to them.

A way in which giving and receiving feedback can begin with a strong conversational and strengths-based foundation is through the following modified Johari’s Window.

After careful examination of one another’s work, students can navigate their way through the following process:

Student A

  • Open Strengths – What are your obvious strengths as a ___ ? (Insert learning role, e.g, writer, visual artist, engineer, analyst, designer, performer, scientist, mathematician, etc.)
  • Hidden Strengths – What strengths do you have as a ___ that may not be so obvious and is hidden to others?

Student B

  • Blind Strengths – What strengths do you have as a ___ that are visible to others but hidden to you?
  • Unknown Strengths – What strengths have we discovered that neither of us were aware of?

From a solid strengths-based focus, students can then launch into the ladder of feedback or any other feedback tool with a solid understanding of their strengths as a learner.

The feedback process can be an instrument for not just improving student learning but promoting their inner wellbeing and confidence. When inner wellbeing and confidence is cultivated students are far more likely to take risks and be open to the feedback process.

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