Next time you get feedback, try these tips

Let’s start by admitting that reading the feedback on an assignment — especially one you don’t think was your best — can be uncomfortable. Maybe you even avoid checking the comments because you find constructive feedback difficult to hear. That’s completely normal.

So... let’s remember this feedback isn’t a critique of you, but simply a piece of your work. And you can use the feedback to improve next time. Here’s how:

Find your strengths and areas to improve

Feedback isn't all bad. It can point out where you excelled in your assignment! That’s an important part of reviewing feedback that can be overlooked. Next, find the areas where you lost marks and take time to read the comments to figure out how you can use the feedback to improve. 

Create a plan of action based on the feedback

Group similar comments together. For example, group feedback on similar topics and concepts together — if there is a pattern, it might be a concept you need to revisit before your next assignment or exam. Then, you might group feedback based on writing mechanics, such as grammar, sentence structure, citations, clarity, etc. For each category, determine what action you need to take to start applying the feedback. Regardless of how you want to group feedback together, the Concept Map Worksheet can help you organize this.

Reach out for clarification 

If you don't understand a comment or suggestion, talk to your teaching assistant (TA) or instructor. They're there to help!  This can be part of your plan of action — you can create a category for feedback that you don’t understand, so you have specific items to discuss. If you need help drafting an email to your TA or instructor, try Anatomy of an email. 

Take action 

This can be a tough one. You might have to revise the way you study or build on a learning skill. Whatever it is that you need to improve on, there’s help available. Book an appointment with a Peer Success Coach. Be ready to revise your study and learning approaches to apply the feedback. 

Ask for feedback 

You might not receive feedback on online assessments like quizzes or tests. You might also feel that you don’t receive enough feedback to understand your next steps. If that’s the case, ask your TA or instructor for feedback explain why you need it and how you’ll benefit from it. Simple and impactful phrases to use for help in universitycan help you figure out what to say.