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We can all agree feedback is great? Right? 

In reality, for many teachers, students and school leaders feedback isn’t all that helpful and can sometimes be damaging. Research shows that effective feedback requires trust between parties and a form of radical vulnerability a la Brene Brown. Feedback for the sake of feedback often leads to discomfort and stress for all involved.

On the other hand, research has shown that feedback and reflective practice are key for improved teaching and leading. We have also seen that when done effectively, educators learn about themselves and make self-directed changes to their practice (Pivot 2019). So it’s something

So what does it mean for feedback to be effective? 

From our research and experience, we have found the following to be integral to effective feedback. 

  1. Create a safe environment for feedback: We have found that anonymity and confidentiality are key to teachers and students being open to getting and giving feedback. 
  2. Make it useful: Provide opportunities for the feedback to be shared immediately. This way it’s still current and all involved are actively engaged in the process. 
  3. Encourage dialogue: Feedback in isolation can lead to self-knowledge, but it rarely leads to deep change. We suggest encouraging dialogue between the feedback giver and getter, and the getter and a trusted peer or school leader. 
  4. Provide support for change: Change doesn’t happen overnight. So provide your teachers resources, time and support to help them meet their feedback-aligned goals.

Here at Pivot we have been supporting schools and teachers to gain actionable feedback on teaching and learning from those that know best: students. We have seen how when done right, student feedback has transformed schools and relationships between teachers and students. We hope that these tips help your school to start making the most of feedback. 

How Pivot can help you

Pivot’s Pulse Check tool is designed to keep your communication and feedback channels open with regular feedback. Pulse Check enables you to design short surveys between 5-10 questions, with easy to understand analytics. We provide an expansive question bank that covers wellbeing, distance learning, academic progress and more. To learn more, click here.