Day 22: The Best Way To Continue Improving Your Teaching: Feedback 101

By Yanina Bellini Saibene in Education Community 100DaysToOffload 30Ship30

May 27, 2024

A big arrow pointing to the right in a wall

Foto de Nick Fewings en Unsplash

We have already said that teaching is learned. 

So, how can we improve our teaching? Getting and Giving Feedback.

Unfortunately, no one usually teaches us how to get and provide practical and constructive feedback. The good news is feedback is also a skill you can learn. 

So, if you are trying to learn more about using Feedback for your teaching, here’s the best way to get started:

A 3-step process:

  • Get feedback: In step 1, we get feedback on what we are doing from someone else. For example, the person observing you tells you, “It was a very good idea how you use X to explain Y. Perhaps to explain Z, you can ...”.

  • Offer feedback about the feedback: In step 2, we made comments and received comments on those comments: “Thanks for the comments, this one you told me helped me because X, this other one didn’t help me because Y”

  • Self-criticism: step 3 is where the magic happens. Once we know how to critique, we can self-critique as we work. In musical terms, we are listening to our own music as we play it. That feedback loop is so tight and so rewarding that our skill takes off immediately.

Constructive feedback

Useful feedback allows us to learn and improve. We can learn to give and receive that kind of feedback.

  • Ask for feedback. Most people don’t offer it openly.

  • Define and communicate your expectations.

  • Having a colleague to help us analyze and “translate” the comments can be helpful. We can also ask that person to summarize. It can be more bearable to hear “it seems that most people think you could go a little faster” than to read 10 comments that say “the class is too slow”, “I’m bored”.

When you give feedback:

  • Be specific.

  • Balance the positive and the negative. 

  • Offer a next step to follow.

  • Use a rubric. In the training Teaching Tech Together, Greg Wilson proposes a 3x2 rubric for giving feedback on someone’s teaching. It separates “Positive” from “To Improve” and “Content” (what is said) from “Presentation” (how it is said) and the level of audience “Interaction”. It is not always clear which category everything falls into, but it helps to organize and compare comments. 

Your teaching will improve with feedback from your students, colleagues, and yourself. A rubric that guides your comments and notes can help you guide your feedback to be constructive and useful.

Posted on:
May 27, 2024
2 minute read, 408 words
Education Community 100DaysToOffload 30Ship30
Education Community 100DaysToOffload 30Ship30
See Also:
Proyecto 2 - Las Estrellas del Universo R
Project 2 - The Stars of R-Universe
Project 1 - rOpenSci's Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct Committee