This blog is created to support conversation generated from and about the learning process for MA Professional Practice (MAPP) in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries (ACI) at Middlesex University.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On feedback

I recently posted the article I wrote with MAPP DTP alumni Rose Payne about feedback. We talked about the post in some discussion group conversations. The article talks about feedback being transactional – going between student and teacher (two-way). Not just given to student from teacher (one way). The feedback is not to tell you if it is good or not but to stimulate further thought. The further thought is going be present or not yet activated in all your work. For instance, if you get feedback on an AOL that you should use more literature to support your points. That is going to be the same across all your writing or if it isn’t the same across all your writing then have a look at the essays you have done where you have used more literature and apply it to all your work. You must already know how to do it so do it for all the work then.

Or if you have used even less in all your other work. Have at look at the AOL where you got the feedback (even though you used more literature than your other essays) and think about what you did to use for literature and do more of it.

Helen and I are going to flag up and let you know URGENTLY if we think something will fail. We are not giving feedback to tell you pass or fail. The feedback is not to say yes this is good you don’t have do any more to this!!!
The point of sending the draft
1)    Time management: The main point was that we had noticed people were leaving writing all their AOLs until the last minute and sometimes not getting them done in time. By giving you a draft deadline it meant you had to commit of all the AOLs you would be writing and also have thought about each of them
2)    Staring a conversation: On getting the drafts I have read them all – I have chosen one that can produce feedback that resonates across all that were sent. I have not marked each one as if I was marking a school paper – it is not summative feedback that ends with you knowing if you passed. That has everything to do with the emancipation of learning from the teacher instructing to the teacher facilitating and partnering in the learning journey we have spoken about in discussions etc…
3)    Stimulating your ideas: The feedback provides ideas to think about. I don’t understand why more people don’t then want to take up the opportunity to discuss it. – that is part of the transaction of feedback. It is a two-way conversation.

I am worried you are suffering in silence – or feeling your are in the deep-end alone. There needs to be a trust that Helen and I are not setting you up. We’ll let you know any major problems. There needs to be a feeling of interaction, discussion and ownership through talking about the feedback. Maybe you don’t agree with some comments, maybe you don’t follow some comments. Maybe you have written something else and want to know if you have addressed a particular observation in your feedback. You could send it saying –

After your comment about use of Literature: ‘please can you look at my use of literature in these four paragraphs of my new draft of AOL 3. It is not the AOL you feedback on but I felt of all my AOLs I use literature lease in this one. So I thought I would work on this one for that. I feel I have xxxxxx and I wonder if your think I need to xxxxx“ then we can read look at that specific point and give further feedback.

So, it is not just you sending things until you get an good job well don’t comment. It is about dialogue challenge and interaction.



  1. Thank you, Adesola for the very honest and helpful post!

    I can identify so many of the points you've raised. I can relate so well to the 'time management bit'! The deadline for the drafts hand ins have really helped me to get those essays done in time and then leaving enough time to work on the feedback! I then have less stress and that gives me more time to do more reading and find more references in relation to what I am writing.

    I'm afraid I could be one of those that have not often initiated a lot of discussions with you or Helen esp in regards to the feedback. I guess I am still trying to work on the feedback given (and maybe find more literature) and get them ready in time by the submission date, but I think I might still be suffering from the teacher/student interaction, although you and Helen consistently tell us that it is a transaction, rather than a passive doing what the teacher told me to. This is still a learning curve for me, accepting this is a transaction and dialogue from 2 equal individuals rather than teacher/student... Maybe I should include that in my ROL!! And maybe this could be one of my biggest learning challenge.
    Then, there is also the fact that I feel I should be responsible enough to work on the feedback on my own without having to constantly consult my tutor. Of course, if there are some burning issues that I needed help for or some advice, I will. There have been times when I did wonder if I should contact my tutor for more discussions (then I would think I should do it on my own first and if I am in desperate need, then I make contact!). There are also times when I feel at MA level, I should be responsible to work on my own and then most of the times I feel totally inadequate and then feeling like a kid moaning!! I suppose for me, this is one of the greatest adjustment to make.
    Maybe this could be my topic of discussion for this Sunday??! I wonder if anyone else in the group shares any of these feelings and thoughts?

    On another note, I would like to say how useful these blogs are and how I am constantly challenged whenever I read the posts from you and Helen. Even now, in the midst of writing my ROL and just reading Helen's blog has sparkled some new ideas and thoughts. And the constant discussions and readings have always brought in and sparkled new ideas! I would also like to add some of us have chatted over Whatsapps and even those discussion have proven to be useful and thought provoking at times!! Gosh, is this my ROL???!!!

  2. This feedback post is very helpful, because although I may have questions, for some reason, I do have this feeling that the drafts were a one way guide ( from teacher to student) to indicate whether or not we were doing 'good' or 'bad'. I am encouraged to know that it is a two way conversation, and from this point forward I will be involved more in an exchange regarding the feedback, instead of censoring my thoughts about your feedback.

  3. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post.
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