Tips for Giving Helpful Feedback

Be Actionable

Instructors don’t actually decide things like class time, the room you meet in, or whether a course is required or not.

So this is not very helpful:​
Teach this class at some time other than 8am!

More helpful:​
Because this class is first thing in the morning, efforts you make to get us moving and talking are really important to me.

Be Fair-Minded

Instructors are trying to make choices to help you learn. ​

​So this is not very helpful:​
This class was TOO MUCH WORK!​

​More helpful:​
Some of the work we did didn’t seem important for the way we were actually graded. For example, we spent lots of time reading about X, but X didn’t factor into our papers or exams.​

Be Concrete

Try not to leave your instructors and their departments guessing about why a teaching and learning element was helpful or unhelpful. ​​

This is not very helpful:​
Checking the box that says, for example, “Feedback” was most beneficial to your learning, but not saying why.​

More helpful:​
Writing something specific. For example, “You are one of few instructors who actually told me things I was doing right (not just wrong!) in your feedback on my essays. That really inspired me to try harder and showed me what to build on.”​