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How do you deal with feedback?

In this video, students from the University of York share the kinds of feedback you get on assessed work and what to do with it.

So hands up… who likes to be told they’ve done things wrong? In this step, we’ll look at how to turn negatives into positives – it’s all about perspective!

What is feedback?

Feedback is a vital learning tool that supports your improvement and development and can be applied to all the work you do.

Feedback can be about your individual assignments, group work, a draft you have prepared or your ideas about your subject. Its purpose is to make you assess your work and help you to understand and reflect on what you have done well or could improve on next time.

Get ready for feedback

Being an independent learner means not only using the feedback you’re given directly, but also being on the look-out for and actively seeking feedback whenever you can.

Feedback can be formal or informal and can come from a variety of people – module leaders, seminar tutors and your fellow students. It comes in many forms including written or verbal comments on your work, or comments made during class discussions or online debates. For some programmes, it will be structured and regular, such as during weekly seminars, but for other subjects or modules it will be less frequent.

It’s important to find out what sort of formal feedback you will be getting:

  • Will it be written or verbal or online?

  • Who will be giving the feedback on your work?

  • And when will the feedback be given?

It can be difficult to receive criticism of work that you have put a lot of time into. You may feel surprised, deflated or even angry – all of those are very natural feelings, especially if you have been used to receiving high praise for work in the past. But remember, feedback is an integral part of learning and put to good use,: it can help you to produce the best work you can.

Understand your feedback

To understand feedback, read or listen to it carefully and think about how it applies to your work, ideas and the assessment criteria.

Feedback should be a dialogue. If you don’t understand your feedback, find an opportunity to ask or arrange to meet with your seminar leader, your module leader or your personal tutor. Meetings give you the perfect opportunity to ask questions and add clarity to your feedback.

Reflect on your feedback

The key to successful feedback is utilising it to develop and improve your future work and ideas. Feedback is transferable and will often include suggestions for how you can develop your work for future assessments, sometimes referred to as feed-forward. Save your feedback in a handy place so it’s accessible when you plan subsequent pieces of work.

Remember that acting on feedback is the best way to improve and progress.

How do you currently save your feedback to ensure you can refer back to it for your next assignment? Do you have any tips on how to view it objectively?

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