Making the most of Tutor Feedback

Knowing how to make the most out of tutor feedback is an important contributor to understanding how to develop as a learner and to therefore better understand how to develop subject matter knowledge, application of that knowledge in different contexts, and learning skills necessary for the current level of learning and for higher level of learning.  Whether or not positive or negative feedback is received, the following actions can help in making the most of tutor feedback:

Analysis

Reflection

Personal and learning development planning

Implementation

Identifying the context of feedback is an important part of analysis and therefore of beginning to understand how to make the most of tutor feedback. Determine if feedback is positive or negative, then work out if the feedback refers to one or more of the following assignment aspects: use of language, such as correct use of grammar and punctuation; the accuracy or correctness of information presented; appropriateness of resources used and the level of understanding and application of knowledge within the assignment context.  The result of the analysis phase is an understanding of the context of the feedback and how it can contribute to future learning and development.  This phase might involve discussing with the tutor any aspects of feedback that are not clearly understood and therefore need clarifying.

Analysis feeds into reflection, where a student evaluates their current knowledge, skills and understanding and approaches used to complete the assignment, which result in identifying relevant issues and developing appropriate solutions leading to a higher probability of obtaining a higher grade in the next assignment.

Personal and learning development planning focuses on how a student shall develop their understanding of existing subject knowledge and skills.  The planning stage also involves the learners identifying resources such as books, software, journals, suitable web based resources, library services and members of academic staff that can help them with their skills and knowledge development.  The result of this stage should be an action plan detailing a series of activities with each activity describing what skills or knowledge need developing, what resources are going to be used to complete this development, and the timeframe of each activity.

Implementation is where the plan is followed in a systemic, progressive order meaning activities should build upon each other so that the student can progress through their development efficiently and productively, therefore preparing themselves for the next assignment or next higher level of learning.

How to make the most of tutor feedback does involve a substantial reflection and evaluation element to understand what the feedback is saying, and to link feedback to the understanding of current knowledge and skills gaps that need to be addressed before tackling the next learning task. The tutor should be consulted throughout the process as necessary in order to make sure that the student is able to develop themselves personally and as learners.