by Ghadeer S. Abu-Oda
Based on my studies and professional experience, the feedback is the user reflection on the software application I have coded or the red colored comments on the essay I received from my supervisor. It is only about analytical thinking and meticulous perfection without any emphasis on the ‘art’ of giving the feedback.
When doing a set of tasks for EAST project, the concept of constructive feedback criticism emerged. More precisely, the line between the constructive, useful feedback – that leads to learning – and the negative, destructive feedback – that would undermine others’ confidence and work- became clearer.
In the final task, I have been asked to critique a sample initial draft written by a UoG student. I gave feedback on a particular essay, ‘The Food production methods in Gaza-Strip’, which is a completely different topic from my major of study.
I experienced the effectiveness of the constructive feedback on myself after I received the feedback from Bill and Ania. I could see my own performance improved exponentially, so I think why not to give the gift of encouragement to others. A few days later, my friend asked me for feedback about her presentation. So instead of merely saying ‘good job’, I told her that she explained it in a sophisticated and engaging way and then pointed out the negatives. After all, that is the kind of feedback everybody would like to hear herself.
The constructive feedback task allowed me to demonstrate my understanding of the earlier steps; however it was the only one exercise during the whole project that let me apply feedback skills on a piece of writing. I had expected more similar tasks.
Interestingly, the feedback is not only a review of performance and work quality but also can be a way to boost the motivation and creativity. The EAST project has led me to comprehend the meaning that I would not otherwise reach: you always have the choice either to feed forward or to feed backward.
* Photo credits: 10 steps to clarity by Tracy Morrow