May 18, 2022

The Power OF Feedback: A Guide to Self-Learning #4

As students, we can always get around studying, but what stings us more than studying is collecting feedback. We have a mindset that tells us to avoid revisiting a task and analyze it for errors and improvements.  

Since we are always trying to emphasize on the importance of Self-Learning, we’d like to discuss how feedback and assessing our performance are top-priority to a student’s self-learning journey.  

What is feedback anyways? Is it Criticism? Or is it a compliment? How do I take something away from feedback? Who can give me feedback?  

And most importantly,  

How on Earth does feedback help ME?  

Several studies have concluded that the right feedback can potentially double learning speed without compromising quality. If used correctly, feedback from teachers and guides can radically transform the quality and quantity of study.  

Repetitively following up on all the work you have done, especially academically, helps you understand your errors and spot them in a much better manner. 

Once you get into the habit of it, spotting and rectifying errors becomes an intrinsic process that leads to minimizing errors in the long run. This leads to effective time management which in turn results in a radical increase in productivity.   

You can take feedback on your work via several mediums ranging from quizzing yourself, flashcards, solving and resolving relevant problems.   

The implementation of feedback in the Self-learning process can be listed in the following steps

  • Finding Errors
  • Identifying Improvements
  • Diagnosing Learning Needs
  • Formulating Goals
  • Reflecting and Implementing Learning Strategies

The key to making the most out of taking feedback on your study progress is reflecting on that feedback. This is another misconception that a lot of us face as students. We tend to dismiss feedback when teachers or our guides tell us that we need to “revise a topic”  

Why? Because revision sounds boring. A simple misconception like this has drifted us away from revising and facing the errors we make in our learning process.  

This “misconception” has been extremely detrimental to us, and it’s time we fixed that. Feedback is of no value if students don’t reflect and rectify errors or work on themselves.  

 As a student, your motto while taking feedback needs to be:  

“To err is human but to forget is dreadful”  

 We’re stressing so much about implementing feedback because it can completely change your life. Not only does it help you score more marks now, but it will also make you a more analytical and efficient professional as you grow up.   

 The Feedback Model  

The “Power of Feedback”, a research paper published by John Hattie and Helen Timperley, breaks the process of taking feedback into three separate steps. They are classified as Feed up, feed back and feed forward. Every one of these steps builds a distinct level of awareness in the mind of students. 

Let’s understand how:  

Feed up: Where am I going?
This question helps you figure out the ‘why’ of your goal. “Why am I studying?”, “Why do I need to solve 50 problems of math?”, “Why should I revise the chapter I lost marks on in my last history exam? Feed up essentially helps you answer questions that resist you from revising or healthily taking feedback.   

Feed back: How am I going?
To quote the same paper, feedback is nothing but a test for the level of task understanding. It helps you build a bridge between your current understanding of the task and your desired results from the same. 

Feed Forward: Where next? 
Oftentimes feedback from elders can be more information to the already building misconception in a student’s mind. The question ‘where next?’ will help you organize this information in a way that guides you to the greater purpose of learning and how it can help you excel in the long run.   

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