Residents As Teachers - Common Teaching Mistakes - Miatake 3: Tell Students "You're Doing Fine"


Mistake 3: Tell Students "You're Doing Fine"


While we all like to hear positive feedback, vague positive feedback is not particularly useful to promote learning. To learn most effectively, students need specific information to help them decipher WHAT they are doing well vs. what they need to improve or change. Give specific comments (written and verbal) so students can adjust their behavior accordingly. If this is difficult, you might want to review the feedback section.

If students ask you, "How am I doing?," you might want to ask if there are any particular areas about which they seek feedback, so you are able to better focus your comments.

Another strategy is to first ask students to self-reflect, e.g. "How did that encounter go for you?" This act of self-reflection does a number of things:

  1. It lets students practice self-reflection;
  2. It gives you a sense of the degree to which students are aware of their performance;
  3. If students are indeed able to self-reflect, it gives you some information to work from in your own comments.