November 02, 2008

Providing and Recieving Feedback

My experiences of providing and receiving feedback?

Reflecting on what I do sometimes I have been concerned that I focus too much on examination technique for my own  students and trainees as opposed to the performance itself.SO often Ive seen student fail to excell as a result of a lack of a structured approach to their own clinical exams.

So what of my own reflections of feedback on my teaching.

I can honestly say I have not received any feedback which has been critical in nature about any aspect of my teaching. This is likely to be because

  1. People do not like to criticise their colleagues openly
  2. The relative effort made to teach by some clinicians is so poor that anything is better than nothing
  3. Feedback systems are implemented as part of a tick box exercise 'given feedback'

I can recall the last course I went on where I wasn't required to give feedback, and it was a very good course! If we are taught that people learn in 20 minute sections, or cannot concentrate for more than 40 minutes, I would be surprised if there is a single higher medical course running which works on these grounds.

What of my own feedback to others? Limited to the above points

  1. Its difficult to criticise bad teachers openly. The flaws are often academically, culturally or personally sensitive.
  2. The problems are so clear to the student (me) that the teacher is lacking so much insight they are unlikely to benefit from comments
  3. I find myself consistently having to give feedback. I can rarely recall it being purely confidential

Only when the feedback is confidential will I say what I actually think, and I don't mean folding up the piece of paper and handing it back to the lecturer in a group.

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