Your first reaction – is most likely to be – “What”??? That’s right. The two words mean just nothing in this context. I’d love to share some thoughts about getting and giving feedback. This based on what we receive for our courses on www.qmedcourses.in
Most of us love getting great feedback:
How many of us, in our school days waited for the teacher to write in our notebooks – “Excellent”? Better still if they added a few words to describe you. I would not be surprised if most of us felt elated. In fact it is a human trait – wanting feedback that makes us feel good. This from anyone older to us or senior to us in position, for sure. And it remains as we grow.
“Right feedback” vs “Feel-good-feedback”
Some teachers might say “I have to say the right things; it is not important for students to like me”. True – but here the feedback lies in the students following “the right thing”. It is all about the impact or the steps towards an impact.
“Feedback that makes no sense“
Contrast this – if you had written that brilliant essay and the teacher simply wrote a remark “More details needed”. Or “Improve your English”. You would not just get irritated but would wonder why on earth the teacher could not be more specific. More details about what? Which part of my English needs to get better?
Whenever you have an opportunity to give feedback – do remember – it is all about:
- Expressing your feelings as specifically as possible
- Suggesting specific improvements
- Pointing out criticism as facts, ideally with suggestions for changes
- Highlighting what is good and why
- Being objective and unbiased
The word – specific – is vital. The objective of giving feedback for improvement – is important.
Think FOR the receiver:
Compliments are great for a receiver. The more specific, the better. But do remember that if you know anything that needs to be made better, it is your job to say so in your feedback. It is up to the receiver to take action.
Feedback for QMedCourses:
In our feedback forms at the end of every course in www.qmedcourses.in, we have a mix of questions. Some – where the giver needs to pick an option. These are simple and hardly take a few seconds. Then we have two questions, for which we request the feedback provider to write at least a sentence. We get a mix of all types of answers for these!
Samples of good feedback:
1. These courses are 100% recommended to all medical students both UGs & PGs as well as to any one who has interest in research fields. It will sensitise and improve the quality of student projects and later when they are ready to write theses.
2. A beautifully structured course, clear explanation, small lectures, quiz for recap and unlimited final assessment attempts to get the certificate
These are specific and of course complimentary. Such inputs energize us and make us work harder at improving the courses. They also tell us if any changes we had introduced, work well – for example, we recently added the “Unlimited Final Assessment Attempts” – and one person has appreciated it
The “one-word” feedback
The feedback is often very positive. But when we specify – “Please write a sentence and not one word”, such feedback appears as if the giver is saying “I will not listen to you”!
The meaningless ones:
Quite going well
Our reaction: – Huh! What exactly are you telling us? What is “quite going well”? What do you want more details about? We honestly are not mind-readers – we cannot make out what is in your mind!
And finally – the Useful Ones!
Only some people have made the effort to give us good suggestions for improvement. They have made us feel that they are involved with us in our mission. Here are two examples:
1. Please indicate the length of each course and every lesson’s video duration
2. Please provide a PDF summary for all Courses
We have appreciated all those who have given such feedback, in our web page – “Top Scorers of QMedCourses“. Every such individual has earned a “Badge” from QMed. More importantly we have acted on almost all of them and have informed the providers about our having acted on them. In cases where we cannot act on them, we let the person know why.
Seeking your feedback on this issue:
We know that many people don’t bother to give a meaningful feedback because of various factors – they may be in a rush, they cannot express themselves, they are scared to give feedback, or they may feel it is a waste. How do we change this? How can we get people to give feedback for our courses – that would be meaningful and contributory? If you have any ideas, please fill in this form. Remember – we put in our best to act on feedback we receive!