Designing feedback exercises is an especially important challenge for instructors when they’re helping students learn how to give helpful feedback. We’ve outlined a number of those challenges in our professional development module, Designing Effective Reviews.
However, if we’re training students for professions where feedback is important and necessary, we need to pass some of those skills on to them. In an insightful post on soliciting helpful feedback on design, Neal O’Grady (@nealogrady) makes the following observations:
Open-ended, general questions are difficult to answer because we do not know what the asker wants to hear. By asking specific questions, the person answering will feel more confident in answering because they have a guideline of what you want to actually know. More confidence means more insight, and more insight means better feedback.
While O’Grady’s post is mostly focused on feedback on visual design, it’s an important reminder that we need to prepare students not only to give helpful feedback but also how to get good at asking for it, and it’s got a number of great rhetorical moves students might use to go about doing that.