YourJCU Subject and Teaching Survey

How to give constructive feedback

The YourJCU Subject and Teaching Survey includes open-ended questions that enable students to provide constructive feedback about their learning and teaching experience.

Effective feedback is supportive, tangible, user-friendly (inoffensive) and actionable.

Be specific

Use examples to demonstrate the point you wish to make, for example:

“The feedback on my assignment helped me understand how to improve my writing."

“The comments on my assessment were detailed and of use to me."

“I really enjoyed this subject, the content was relevant, up to date and well presented."

Concentrate on observable behaviour

Use examples to support your observations, for example:

“There should be more consultation times. The available times clashed with other lectures and made it hard for me to see my lecturer."

“My tutor encouraged me to develop my ideas through discussion in the tutorials."

Don't use personalised or emotional wording

The aim of the survey is to collect constructive feedback on JCU's learning and teaching experience.

Rather than being personal or emotional, try using examples of incidents and behaviours that did or did not support you.

Feedback should describe the effect of the teacher's behaviour, so they can experience it from a different perspective, for example:

“When jargon is used, I don’t understand what is being said and can’t take good notes."

Useful feedback offers alternatives to the behaviour being criticised, for example:

“When using jargon, it would be useful to me if it was written on the board so I know what it means."

“When using technical terms, please write the terms on the board so we can write them down."

“When using new terms, please write them on the board so I can make sure I spelled it correctly."

What's good, what's bad

Feedback should point out the good and the bad.

By giving praise and showing understanding in your feedback, you can help the receiver of the feedback to be proactive, rather than reactive and defensive.

Adapted from Svinicki, M.D. (2001) Encouraging Your Students to Give Feedback. New Directions for Teaching and Learning (87) 17-24.