Components of Effective Feedback
Jack Ende, MD published a seminal article entitled “Feedback in Clinical Medical Education” in JAMA, 1983. In it, he highlighted the components of effective feedback which include the following:
- Feedback should be provided in a context of the instructor and trainee working as allies with common goals. The learning environment you set will be key in this process.
- Feedback should be timely and should not be a surprise to students. Feedback works best when solicited by the learner, while memories are still fresh.
- Feedback should be based on first-hand data - ideally through direct observation. If you use data from a second hand source, be sure to verify it.
- Limit the amount of feedback you provide and stay focused on behaviors that students can change.
- Feedback should be specific - Instead of the general comment, “You did a great job,” a more effective comment is, “Your eye contact and level of engagement with the patient were great.”
- If you provide subjective feedback, be sure to label it as such. For example, “It appeared to me as though...”
- Feedback should be about decisions and actions, not about assumed intentions or interpretations.