Feedback is a Learning Process

Avoid collusion

  • One of the biggest problems with feedback is when the TA and student are unwilling to take the risk of giving/getting constructive feedback. The TA says a piece of work is OK, even though the quality is mediocre. The student is concerned about the quality of the work but remains silent. In this situation the student misses an opportunity to discuss how the work could be improved and how to avoid problems like this in the future.

Feedback skills can be improved by paying attention to the consequences of different types of feedback.

  • TAs should watch for verbal and non-verbal indications of the effect their feedback has on students. In a trusting relationship, TAs can ask students to provide them with feedback on their feedback. Regardless, students should be asked to provide feedback on their TA through end of term evaluations.

Effective feedback is an important step towards authenticity.

  • It opens the way to genuine relationships with students and gives TAs an opportunity to model the values and attitudes of their profession.