The four dimensions of feedback

I have been meaning to do a post on this topic for some time, since with my line of work I come across students who are seeking advice on how to establish a functioning feedback system with their supervisors every other day. This is something relevant to me personally too. I received someone’s review of my manuscript a couple of weeks ago and sent out my review of someone else’s paper yesterday, for instance – being inside the whole peer review business.

At school we have recently created a video for our MOOC students about how to deal with criticism of their work. The message was, in summary, “Appreciate it but don’t take it to heart”. It is an important issue, but I was thinking that it is a two-way road and hence there should be room in discussion for the other side too – i.e. how to criticise someone else’s work. Then, come to think more of it, the ‘art’ of feedback actually has four dimensions, not two, as below. I am also creating here a mini repository of some good pieces of advice I have encountered (and will).

1. How to seek

2. How to give

3. How to take

4. How to work with

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