Feedback literacy not feedback rituals: time to focus on effects

Date:                    Sunday 25th August

Half Day:              1330-1630

Level:                    Intermediate/Advanced


  1. Rola Ajjawi, Deakin University, Australia
  2. Margaret Bearman, Deakin University, Australia
  3. Liz Molloy, Melbourne University, Australia
  4. Christy Noble, Gold Coast Health, Australia
  5. Jo Tai, Deakin University, Australia

Summary of theme and why it is important:  Feedback is key to learning but research suggests that feedback in the health professions is less useful than we would like. There are a number of myths about feedback that continue to be propagated. We will tackle three of these: 1) feedback needs praise-criticism balancing rules; 2) feedback is a skill residing within the teacher; and 3) feedback is an input. These myths perpetuate unproductive rituals discrete, episodes of educators ‘telling’ that are backward facing. In this workshop, we will instead offer alternative practical perspectives.
Our orienting principles are that: 1) feedback should be dynamic and co-constructed, 2) students should be encouraged to be agentic through interpreting and making use of feedback information (“feedback literacy”); and 3) feedback should develop students’ capacity to make judgements about the quality of their work. These principles reposition feedback as a co-constructed sociocultural student-led process, where they make sense of information along a learning trajectory. Here feedback is a process and it makes a difference.
Equipping learners to engage in feedback processes may reduce the emotional burden on both parties, rendering techniques such as the feedback sandwich redundant. We also highlight the benefits for both learners and teachers in conceptualising feedback as a relational activity, and in tracing the effects of the information exchanges. These effects may be immediate or latent, and include changes in learner evaluative judgement, motivation, clinical performance or professional identity.
Who should participate in the Pre-Conference Workshop?  This workshop is ideal for participants at intermediate/advanced levels who would like to improve feedback practices, systems and research.

What will they gain from participating?  Participants will gain:

  1. foundational principles that reframe feedback to be more productive; and
  2. practical individual, curricular and institutional strategies to improve learner and teacher feedback literacy. The workshop will be highly interactive including video clips, vignettes and self-reflective activities. We will also present material from our book due for publication in 2019: The impact of feedback in higher education.

Cost: Euros 90 (includes coffee)

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-conference Workshop participants must also register for AMEE 2019 and pay the conference fee.


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