How to ask for insightful feedback

National Gallery of Art, Washington

Feedback on my training events keeps me going. I obviously love the good feedback, as I’m sure we all came into education to make a positive difference, but I also love when a delegate takes the time to offer thoughts about how I might improve the experience for future delegates. Today’s blog is to share a way of getting really colourful feedback that gives a real insight into a delegate’s learning experience. Have a look at these from last week’s session on The CCQI Self-Assessment Strategy.

  • ‘That feeling when you get new glasses and realise things have been a little out of focus for some time!’
  • ‘Going on a walk and reaching a fabulous view point.’
  • ‘I was blind, but now I see.’

And my absolute favourite:

  • ‘I’ve got my head stuck in the sleeve of a jumper. It was someone else’s jumper and it didn’t really feel like it fit, but I probably should’ve started putting the jumper on sooner. I can see the light down the sleeve but it’s going to mean changing the jumper design whilst wearing it. Also, we need to go on a diet but it’s not about eating less it about making good choices about what we put in and understanding why?’

I hope you agree they give a real sense of what the delegates felt about the learning experience!

The two main questions I ask are: ‘Did this session help with XYZ, and if so what might you change?’ and ‘How could this session be improved for future delegates?’ But the answers above came from what might be considered the preliminary question: ‘What metaphor could you use to describe your learning journey today?’

Of course, not everyone answers this question, and not all answers are metaphors, but every answer is wonderfully illuminating. I have to confess, though, I don’t always understand some of the comments on first reading. Have a look at these examples:

The enigmatic ones:

  • ‘Plato’s cave’
  • ‘It was Bleak House, but we now have Great Expectations, and Tony is our Mutual Friend.’

Then there’s the funny ones:

  • ‘Bumper cars of ideas.’
  • ‘I like to sing, but I now want to write the song!’
  • ‘Wrestling a tiger – hugging the tiger – shampooing and blow-drying the tiger.’

And the provocative ones:

  • ‘Poking the bees’ nest.’
  • ‘Unlearning everything you have been told.’
  • ‘The brick wall I have banged my head against for years is finally starting to crumble!’

And finally, the heart-warming ones:

  • ‘I no longer teach as I have moved into management many years ago. I want to teach again after today’s session.’
  • ‘It feels like I’ve just got some new cheat codes for a difficult computer game.’

So why not give it a go with your learners and see what wonderfully imaginative comments you get back!

PS        I’ll be re-running The CCQI Self-Assessment Strategy workshop on Wednesday, November 25th from 09:15 to 12:45. Details here: Do join us if you can.

To join the CCQI Research Network, do please click here.


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