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Giving Effective Feedback


Last Reviewed:
May 23, 2024

First Published:
May 11, 2022


Feedback has been described as the “cornerstone” of effective teaching (Cantillon, 2008) and is essential for performance improvement. Feedback, whether verbal or written, should include both positive and constructive guidance for maintaining and improving knowledge, skills, and attitudes with an emphasis on improvement strategies. “Without feedback mistakes go uncorrected, good performance is not reinforced and clinical competence is achieved empirically or not at all (Ende, 1983).

Use the comments section below to let us know your ideas about giving effective feedback.

Characteristics of Effective Feedback

  1. Based on direct observation
  2. Focused on a specific behavior or skill
  3. Actionable
  4. Timely
  5. Limited
  6. Promotes self-assessment
  7. Emphasizes practice opportunities
  1. Use the Ask-Tell-Ask Feedback Framework (Konopasek & Bar-on, 2015) to have a feedback conversation with learner:
    • Ask: ask a question to trigger self-assessment, e.g., how do you think things are going, please reflect on…?
    • Tell: relay your observations, concrete, specific, positive, and constructive/instructive
    • Ask: ask a question about how improvement can occur, e.g., what do you see as priorities for improvement, who/what might help you improve
  2. When giving feedback avoid saying “good job”, “great job”, “poor performance”, etc. in isolation. If you use these phrases, make sure to include something specific that was either good or needs improvement.