Feedback and how to use it
Rachel: Hi UTS students! Hope you’re doing well :) My name is Rachel
Kelly: And this is Kelly!
Rachel: And we are back with another episode on the UTS Student Hacks Podcast.
Kelly: Today we’ll be talking about using feedback to your advantage. At this stage of the semester, you have probably handed in a few assignments, tutorial work and you might have gotten some feedback on it. The feedback may be vague so we need to look between the lines to figure out what tutors or lecturers are asking for.
Rachel: I feel like this topic is very relevant to this period of time because not only are we in the last few weeks of uni, so naturally assessments and exams are starting to pile up. But we are also studying online! I don’t know about you Kelly, but I have been struggling myself…
Kelly: Wow Rachel I’ve been experiencing the same struggles. Especially receiving feedback and not taking it personally.
Rachel: Yeah right! More often than not, I only find myself appreciating the positive feedback like “good job” or “great research”. But then when I read something along the lines of “what did you mean by this” or “change this paragraph” I often feel like it’s a personal attack. It takes time to actually realise that feedback isn’t ‘hate comment’, but actually a building block that helps us improve in ways we could not have foreseen. It’s also important to realise that feedback isn’t failure; for example just because I got a comment saying “change this paragraph” does not make me bad in this subject, it just means that my instructor highly believes that I can get much higher grades by improving certain aspects of my work. If you find looking at feedback is hard you can set up a feedback affirmation ritual where you remind yourself that the feedback is on YOUR PAPER and not about you, and that it can help you grow and improve.
Kelly: That’s exactly right Rachel. I have been receiving feedback on tutorial work and seeing comments like “good response” turn into “rework this” and it really takes a toll on my self-esteem. However, after talking to a few of my friends I have come to realise that there is always room for improvement and to take the feedback I have gotten to improve. You might be wondering, how am I supposed to take this feedback to improve my work? Well, Rachel and I are going to talk about the various UTS services, which have moved online, that you can reach out to for advice.
Kelly: Rachel, take it away.
Rachel: Ok I sometimes receive some feedback and just think to myself “now what?” After all, I wrote my assignment in a way that I thought sounded professional and worthy of a HD. How can I take someone else’s input to change something I thought to be great? Well, my number 1 advice would be to use resources all around you! UTS offers services that are really helpful and completely free to us. For example UTS HELPS is a service that can help you answer questions about your assignments, and the feedback that you got on it through virtual drop-ins and can also help you improve your writing skills in the workshops they offer. What’s also great about HELPS is that they are experienced in reviewing assignments so you can also seek their personal feedback as well, which can help you exceed in whatever assignment you have due! Finally, if you’re like me and still struggle with the referencing styles, you can check out the UTS library webpage or go to Ask a Librarian!
Kelly: I might sound like a broken record at this point but “LinkedIn Learning” is, once again, an amazing resource for you. The video we are recommending today is “Receiving Feedback to Learn”. This video talks about how to be a better receiver to feedback by noticing when you get triggered and become defensive, and changing that attack approach to learning from the feedback. From there, you can ask for more detailed feedback on points you do not quite understand from your tutor or lecturer.
Kelly: One amazing tip is before starting a new assignment is to go over the feedback from previous tasks and make sure you have taken that feedback on board. It is really tempting to just look at the marks and move on. But the feedback provided will show you where you are amazing and where you can improve. By looking back, it’s making sure you don’t make the same mistakes. I find this tip really helpful as I tend to retain information like a goldfish. So, it is very important for me to look back and refresh my memory of what I did well and where I need to improve.
Kelly: So remember these 3 steps 1. Take the feedback with a grain of salt instead of taking it personally, 2. Reach out to your tutor or lecturer to get additional feedback and 3. Review past feedback when starting a new assignment!
Kelly: A quick recap, UTS HELPS, UTS Library and other UTS services are online and here to help you improve, and effectively use feedback from tutors and lecturers to your advantage. LinkedIn Learning is also here to help you use feedback as a stepping stone rather than a stop sign. Lastly, actually read and refer back to the feedback you have received so you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Rachel: Thank you for listening to the end of this week’s podcast with Kelly and I. Be sure to be here next week for our episode on our good old friend “Procrastination” with Rebecca and Kelly. Until then,
Rachel & Kelly: stay classy.
Resources from this episode
Ask a Librarian – UTS Library
Managing Perfectionism – UTS Counselling
Receiving Feedback to Learn – LinkedIn Learning
UTS HELPS Resources
Writing: Rachel Khalef and Kelly Ding
Editing: Rachel Khalef and Kelly Ding
Producer: Liv Day
Music: VHS Dreams by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com/