Skip to main content

Teaching Tips series: Giving Constructive Feedback

Feedback helps answer: “How am I doing?” and “How can I get better?”

It has been described as an essential element of the educational process that can help trainees reach their maximum potential (1). Feedback links the teaching and assessment roles of teachers and demonstrates your commitment to the learners (2).

With this in mind here are my top tips to giving constructive feedback:

Think about HOW, WHERE and WHEN you will give feedback

Signpost: Students do not often recognise feedback unless they know it is coming

B - Balanced -       Include positive and negative comments – what worked and what could be done differently. Give choices and suggestions for improvement.
O - Observed -      Base feedback on what you have observed: "I saw..." "I heard you say...". Focus on 2-3 points to avoid overwhelming the learner.
O - Objective -      Describe actions and behaviour, not personality. Take ownership of your feedback.
S - Specific -          Provide details rather than vague statements, e.g. "You summarised very effectively at the end..." instead of "That went well..."
T - Timely -           Feedback should be given as close to the event as possible to ensure accuracy and effectiveness.

Remember, BOOST your technique and improve learners’ performance.

If you would like to learn about feedback in more detail please attend our TaCTIC training days, ideal for refreshing your teaching skills.

Dr Anju Verma MA(Clin Ed) MRCP MRCGP
Associate Community Lead/ Acting Faculty Development Lead anju.verma@imperial.ac.uk

(1) Hesketh EA, Laidlaw JM. 2002. Developing the teaching instinct: Feedback. Med Teach 24(3):245–248
(2) Krackov SK. 2011. Expanding the horizon for feedback. Med Teach 33:873–874.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A View from the Community - Dr Dana Beale

As part of our View from the Community series of articles, our Year 6 Specialty Choice Lead Dr Ros Herbert interviewed community teacher Dr Dana Beale, to get the inside track on what it's like being a community teacher for Imperial College. To read more articles like this, please sign up to our newsletter by emailing b.broglia@imperial.ac.uk

Dana, tell me what first got you interested in homeless medicine? "Incredibly I was inspired by the same module I did as a student at Imperial College that I am now teaching on! Back then it was 'medical and social care of the homeless' and was based at the surgery for the homeless in Great Chapel Street - a fabulous service that showed me that primary care tailored to this vulnerable and challenging group existed and I promised myself there and then that I would return to work in this field."

What makes you so enthusiastic about this work? "I find this line of work a breath of fresh air; at times incredibly challenging …

Introducing the WATCCH Project - Widening Access to Careers in Community Healthcare

The Undergraduate Primary Care Education team in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London has kicked off an exciting new work experience programme called WATCCH – Widening Access to Careers in Community Healthcare.
There is a shortage of work experience in the health sector for pupils, particularly for those who have no connection to healthcare professionals. WATCCH aims to open up work experience opportunities in the healthcare sector by offering placements for sixth form pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to shadow various allied healthcare professionals in general practices. These 16/17 year olds have completed their GCSEs with good grades, do not have placements elsewhere, and are the first in their family applying to university. 
Pupils will attend a pre-placement induction at Imperial College's Charing Cross Hospital Campus, and will then have a 3-day work experience session at a general practice where they will observe a variety of allie…

What makes a good placement?

In the New Year, Dr Kevin Patel a GP ST3 on the Imperial VTS, takes a reflective look at the factors that go into making a good clinical attachment for trainees.
As GP trainees we are ‘encouraged’ to reflect; challenging encounters with patients, conversations with colleagues that could have gone better, moments when you felt like you were born to do this job. All of this is good fodder for your ePortfolio.
Not one to miss out on a reflective opportunity, I took a step back from a discussion that was taking place about difficult rotations, a conversation I imagine that is oft-repeated amongst GPs and hospital doctors up and down the country, and thought about how we could use our experience as GP trainees to feed into this.
As trainees we rotate into diverse placements, from paediatrics to public health to care of the elderly. I counted at least 15 distinct departments I have worked in since finishing medical school just over 5 years ago. This is more than any other specialty trainee…