‘Just engage in it or not, you get out what you put in’: student and staff experiences of feedback and feedforward in workplace-based learning environments

Sarah E Kelly, Angela Hague, Andrew J Blythe, Nigel D Robb, Sheena M Warman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Feedback is central to student learning in the veterinary workplace. “Feedforward”, a related concept, is used to describe the way in which information about a student’s performance may be used to improve their future performance. Feedback and feedforward practices are diverse, with varied student and staff understandings of the nature and purpose of feedback (‘feedback literacy’). This study compared the practices of feedback and feedforward in a range of programmes in one institution, during student transitions from the classroom to workplace-based learning environments. The study adopted a broad interprofessional approach to include Healthcare programmes as well as Social Work and Theatre and Performance Studies. Profession-specific focus groups were conducted with contribution from 28 students and 31 staff from five different professions. Thematic analysis revealed that students and staff shared an understanding of the concepts of feedback and feedforward, and both groups recognised the importance of emotional and relational aspects of the process. Students and staff across all professions recognised the impact of time constraints on the feedback process, although this was particularly highlighted in the Health Science professions. Social Work and Theatre and Performance Studies students demonstrated a more nuanced understanding of the emotional and relational aspects of feedback and feedforward. Overall, the approach highlighted similarities and differences in practices and experiences in different workplace contexts, creating opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning, which may have relevance more widely in Higher Education programmes with workplace-based elements. The study underpinned the development of the LeapForward feedback training resource https://bilt.online/the-leapforward-project/
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 17 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • feedback literacy
  • feedforward
  • student transitions
  • workplace feedback
  • interprofessional education

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