Examples of Feedback
Academic feedback comes from our personal tutors, seminar tutors, lecturers, peers and ourselves and comes in a variety of different forms. Many types of feedback can be overlooked or taken for granted, therefore by recognising the ways in which we receive feedback, we will be more receptive to them.
The diagram below give examples of just some of the ways we receive feedback. Click on the links beneath the image to receive handy hints on how they can be used to full advantage.
- Always be proactive in gaining feedback;
- Make use of as many types of feedback as you can;
- Find out when, where and how you will receive feedback in each module or element of study so that you know when you can expect to receive it: this may be available in your course handbook or it may just be a question of asking your tutor.
Tips on making the most of your Feedback
Written feedback from tutors on your work is very valuable as it pinpoints the strengths and weaknesses in your work. Its effectiveness, however, is dependent on how you apply this feedback to your future work.
Tip – Keep a portfolio of your feedback which you can regularly refer back to and ‘feed forward’ to future work; this will prevent you from repeating the same mistakes again and will remind you of where you strengths and weaknesses lie.
Tip – Don’t just look at the mark you have received. Take care to read and re-read the feedback provided on your work; academic staff go to great efforts to provide meaningful feedback for a reason: so that you can apply this to future work. If you don’t understand a piece of feedback then ask!
Tip – You may find it difficult at first to apply feedback from one assessment to another because of the variation in content matter, but try to look at the feedback holistically. For instance, have you misunderstood the question? If so, could you take more care next time to read the question and ensure you fully understand it? If you don’t fully understand the question, could you talk to your tutor or peers to clarify what the question is asking? Is your essay, presentation or report technique letting you down? If so, the University has resources which could help you with this. Visit the feedback resource page for more information.
Make the most of the time you spend with your personal tutors, seminar tutors and lecturers, who will be providing you with feedback, most of the time without you even realising! Be proactive and engage in discussion and most of all don’t be afraid to ask questions: there are no stupid questions!
Tip – Make notes on the feedback given to you in seminars and lectures. It will make you more aware of when you are receiving feedback and you can include them in a portfolio of feedback as reference for future work.
Tip – Make a note of what went well and what didn’t, so that the next time you carry out a similar task, you can refer back to this. As well as including the feedback from your tutor, assess your own performance; self assessment is an essential skill which you will need to develop for your professional career. To help you, we’ve put together a form which will prompt you when reviewing your own academic performance and receiving feedback from your tutor. Click here for the Improving your Academic Performance – Feedback and Self Reflection Form.
This type of feedback relates the feedback you receive from lecturers or tutors in your class about upcoming or recently completed essays or examinations. It is a very powerful form of feedback and should never be underestimated! You can gain a lot from knowing pitfalls that you should avoid, which perhaps your peers have encountered, or for gaining a different perspective on a subject or new technique, which had not previously considered and may chose to adopt in a future assessment.
Your peers can provide an objective view on the feedback you have received and in turn you can help your peers; it may be difficult to be open when criticising and receiving criticism from your peers at first, however remind yourself that this will help each of you to improve your work and possibly gain a higher mark. These are also skills which will need in your professional life.
Meeting with personal or academic tutors affords you a one –to-one opportunity for feedback and to ask questions. You should not assume that a meeting will be organised for you but instead should you need help or clarification in your work or the feedback you have received, go and ask: find out your tutor’s office hours and arrange a meeting.
Tip – Always prepare for your meeting with your personal or academic tutor. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the meeting and go to your meeting with questions, so that you don’t leave feeling disappointed.
Email and social media allow us to quickly communicate with tutors or peers and can be particularly effective when needing to clarify a point or organise an appointment to discuss feedback. Learning Central, email and other electronic tools are also ways for tutors to communicate feedback to you in an efficient way.
Tip – Although useful in clarifying points or asking one or two questions, electronic feedback is not necessarily a substitute for other types of feedback. You should make use of the other types of feedback available to you.
Tip – Start up a chat room or discussion forum on Learning Central with your peers. This will allow you to frequently converse with them and discuss the feedback you have been given or an approach to ‘feeding forward’.