Giving Feedback Essay.
On two recent occasions, I recall giving unspecific feedback that left the learner with more confusion than clarity. On both occasions, I provided feedback face-to-face to the learners. On one occasion, I criticized an approach that informed the patient about his medical condition. From my perspective, the learner was not sensitive to the patient’s circumstances and failed to deliver the information in an understandable manner. I stated that the approach was too formal, and that talking with patients required more elaboration on conditions with fewer medical terms. On the other occasion, I provided positive feedback after hearing the learner explaining the patient’s condition. The explanation provided a detailed evaluation of vital signs, medication intake, and medical history. Furthermore, it included suggestions for further assessments because of potential issues with medication intake. I believed that it was not necessary to improve upon any aspect of the case description, so I simply stated that the work was well-done.Giving Feedback Essay.
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In both cases, I used non-evaluative feedback. Rather than providing evaluative feedback by assaulting another person’s personality, non-evaluative feedback points out actions rather than directly criticizing another person’s traits (Hanson, 1975). Non-evaluative feedback is motivational because it can suggest changes in behaviour rather than set fixed assumptions about the learner’s personality (King, 1999). Evaluative feedback can offend learners, diminish self-worth and self-esteem, and cause defensive reactions (Hanson, 1975). I also notice how I used general feedback over specific feedback. General statements do not correct or reinforce a type of behaviour because learners cannot understand the exact reasons why they received reinforcement or constructive suggestions (King, 1990). Although I provided general feedback, I did not insult the learners through criticizing their personality through evaluative feedback.
Timing is an essential skill for providing informal feedback. While formal feedback is a prepared session, informal feedback occurs daily, and it should immediately follow the events that require feedback (Hesketh and Laidlaw, 2002). Both feedbacks occurred immediately after the events that caused them, so they can be considered timely. They were also selective because they addressed fewer key points rather than providing broad elaborations. However, those feedbacks would have been better if I had used more specific language. The positive reinforcement I provided stated that the overall report was excellent while failing to address the exact reasons why it was excellent. Although the corrective feedback I provided suggested fewer medical terms when talking to patients, I did not address the specific phrases I considered inappropriate.
While observing my feedback skills could seem that they are constructive for the learner, they are not specific enough to encourage a positive transformation. A study by Hewson and Little (1998) found that all learners desire both reinforcing and correcting feedback, but the feedback provider is responsible for utilizing helpful or unhelpful techniques. When I state that an approach to the patient is too formal, my feedback could be considered unhelpful because it failed to explain which exact elements were inappropriate. According to King (1999), feedback motivates people only when it is specific, so I would change the clarity of my feedback from my current perspective. Because my feedback was delivered in a form of a general statement, the learner was more likely confused than determined to improve.
Another thing I would change in giving feedback is the emphasis of my statements. For example, when I provide feedback, I rarely use questions or introduce my personal perspective. King (1999) suggests that listening and asking are more important skills in providing feedback than talking. Although both feedbacks were informal, a better approach would have been to ask the learners what they thought about their performance before offering personal perspectives. Rather than using phrases “Your performance was excellent” or “You should use a less formal tone,” I think I should use phrases like “I think that you performed” or “I feel that you should use a less formal approach” because they express my personal viewpoint rather than an absolute truth.Giving Feedback Essay.
After analyzing the positive reinforcement, I concluded that it lacked clarity, and I did not make a clear distinction between feedback and evaluation. Branch and Paranjape (2002) suggest that evaluation informs the learners on the quality of their performance while feedback should be designed to explain how the learner can improve. Because I merely stated that the report was adequate and the learner’s performance excellent, that can be considered an evaluation rather than a feedback. Although that particular situation did not require any improvement, the learner could have benefitted from reinforcing feedback. Reinforcing feedback is clearer than an evaluation because it explains why something was excellent rather than simply rating it as excellent, and I think I should elaborate more when providing reinforcement.
Overall, I believe my feedback skills would benefit the most from more specific statements. It is important to remember that when feedback is not specific, the learners will not know which aspects of their behaviour were correct or incorrect (Hesketh and Laidlaw, 2002). When providing feedback, I should also focus more on presenting it as a personal viewpoint. That way I will only provide different perspectives to learners rather than providing them with strict rules. When learners are able to see objects and circumstances from different perspectives, they will also be able to engage in self-feedback and reflection.Giving Feedback Essay.
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