Learning from Feedback

Why is feedback so important?

Think of it this way - how can you possibly know where you went wrong if the only result you focus on is the final outcome?

In other words, here's a scenario to visualize:
You get your assignment back. Your first instinct is to flip through all of the pages to the very end, look at your grade, feel content or discontent with it, put the assignment away, and move onto the next.

So, what does this achieve? Absolutely nothing.

Learning from our mistakes cannot occur unless we pay close attention to them. This is where 'constructive feedback' comes into play. This is the form of qualitative feedback that provides insight into the exact areas we are to improve on along with suggestions on how to excel moving forward.

Let's use this example for a better understanding:

Though you've been aiming for a B+ in History class, you keep getting a B on all of your written work. You're frustrated with the outcome and begin to doubt your abilities. You know you've been putting in consistent effort, but still achieve the same outcome. Let's analyze possible next steps:

Student A:

  1. Realizes that there is always room for growth
  2. Carefully analyzes each comment made
  3. Reaches out to the teacher for more explanations where unclear
  4. Researches how to further improve on these specific mistakes
  5. Consciously implements these corrections moving forward
  6. Analyzes feedback again to check for measured growth
  7. Repeat

Student B:

  1. Feels upset about the end result
  2. Projects negative energy on teacher
  3. Allows one mark to affect the course of his/her day
  4. Implements the same generic practices on the next assignment
  5. Achieves the same outcome
  6. Repeat

Which student would you rather be?