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Useful Tips on Giving Feedback and Receiving Criticism

how to provide useful feedback and receive criticism

Guidance on giving and receiving feedback

You will be in a position to review others’ work providing them with feedback, and to receive the feedback from other learners.

What does it mean to provide feedback?

  • Please be fair and balanced in your feedback and evaluate against the criteria given in the rubric. You are doing this to help each other improve your ideas further.
  • Bear in mind that not everyone has the same background on this course, and that you might get to review work that is not of your background area. As the review criteria are more to do with the general principles of activity design, please be considerate, focus on and try to provide constructive feedback related to the guidelines criteria given.
  • When writing your feedback to another learner:
  1. Please approach it in a serious manner (giving feedback can help others improve their work and receiving feedback can contribute to improvements of your own initial ideas and help you develop them further).
  2. Know exactly what the assignment is and stick to the given guidelines as criteria to compare against.
  3. Familiarising yourself with the piece of somebody else’s work first will lead to a more helpful review – so read the work you are reviewing more than once, before attempting the critique. Make sure you understand what the other person is talking about.
  4. Think about the style and constructive approach of your feedback
  5. Reflect on how and what you have written
  6. Ask yourself whether you would like to receive similar feedback, and whether it would be helpful?
  7. If not, update your feedback, and reflect on it once more, before sharing it with your fellow learner.
  8. Remember to critique the ideas, not the persons who wrote them.
  9. Do not correct grammar and spelling, as English is not everybody’s first language – concentrate on the ideas the other learner is trying to express/present.

Other tips:

  • Be honest but fair
  • Approach the work on its own terms as this is not an opportunity for you to express your own position on a topic or issue
  • Point to specific strengths as well as weaknesses of the work you are reviewing
  • Write your review clearly
  • For some learners, this is a first Peer Review assignment whilst for others this is a familiar task – so please take that into consideration.

What does it mean to receive feedback?

Feedback can come in many different formats. Most often it comes from the authority figures, such as teachers or lecturers, in writing or in conversation. It is also very valuable to hear what other people, such as friends, peers, colleagues think.

When you receive your feedback, even if it feels like it is negative for you, use it as an opportunity to rethink your work by reflecting on how you can improve it. Do not take criticism personally, but if you do notice some personal note in the feedback you receive, it is good to flag it with a FL moderator.

© Wellcome Connecting Science
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