The Art of Feedback
We hear about feedback all the time; constructive, positive, negative, the ‘feedback sandwich’, summative, formative, or process orientated. Employers and teachers place importance on the art of giving feedback. It can help an individual on their journey of self-development and improvement. But how do you encourage people to act on feedback given?
Feedback can be difficult to take. Some of us tend to feel personally attacked. Others may just push it to one side as they do not see the importance. It is therefore crucial to give feedback which is going to avoid these two issues.
That is why, together with partners across Europe, we have developed the Feedback project as part of Erasmus+.
What is the project about? The project is focused on art-based feedback techniques. We focus on 3 main goals:
- Sustainability – planning the feedback delivery to allow individuals to positively accept advice which is useful and advantageous.
- Inspiration – creating inspiration in learners helps people to understand what needs to be relearned, improved, or refocused on.
- Transformation – by refocusing on the first objectives of the feedback, learners are supported to positively transform their point of view.
We developed the State-of-the-Art report to analyse the art of giving feedback. This helped us to develop a digital toolkit and other materials for you to use when giving feedback or help you to create your own art-based feedback tool.
How do our Feedback tools help to encourage change? Our Feedback tools are art-based. They use positive and creative techniques to give feedback in a fun and engaging way. It helps to make feedback a bit less daunting. We focus on feedback that is formative- this means that the feedback is given on a long-term basis rather than at the end of a task. Process-orientated or ‘summative’ feedback can be short lived and less likely to be acted on. Ongoing feedback helps to encourage sustainable self-development.
Our tools are focused on teachers, trainers and managers, but they can be easily adapted to other professionals too.
Let’s look at an example! On our website you can find the ‘Palette of Feelings’ exercise.
This is a recent tool we have developed. All you will need is A3 white sheet of paper and pencils, coloured pencils, water colours or crayons!
With this tool, you can engage your learner to think of their experience in an artistic way.
STEP ONE: The facilitator introduces the participants to a subject of the exercise (for example: knowledge testing, group dynamics or performance)
STEP TWO: Participants can then express their feelings about the discussed topic.
STEP THREE: Participants use one half of their paper to draw/paint how they feel. They can also express their knowledge using lines, dots, colours or shapes. On the other half of the sheet, they can draw a mind map and use words to describe their artwork. They are encouraged to express their feelings, knowledge, or other aspects of the topic in words too.
STEP FOUR: At the end, the learners can present their palette of feelings and explore any questions with the facilitator.
Try this at home with your children, in the classroom, at work, or anywhere else you think it will be useful! Some of the feedback we have received during the piloting of the toolkit included:
- “easy to use”
- “useful creative ideas I will take away”
- “great way to get inspiration”.