Enhancing Feedback Literacy in the Workplace: A Learner-Centred Approach

  • Christy Noble
  • Christine Sly
  • Leigh Collier
  • Lyn Armit
  • Joanne Hilder
  • Elizabeth Molloy
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 25)


This chapter discusses the development, implementation and evaluation of a learning intervention to enhance students’ workplace feedback literacy. Healthcare students want more feedback during placements. Students’ roles in feedback processes tend to be overlooked with most learning interventions focusing on professional development of educators, that is, how to ‘deliver’ feedback better (Carless et al., 2011). Addressing student’s role in feedback, as seeker, processer and user of performance information, offers an opportunity to improve placement and post-placement feedback experiences. The intervention aimed to augment students’ feedback literacy and their engagement during and after clinical placements at a teaching hospital.

Informed by the learner-centred feedback model, Feedback Mark 2 (Boud D, Molloy E, Feedback in higher and professional education: understanding it and doing it well. Routledge, New York, 2013a, Boud D, Molloy E, Assess Eval High Educ, 38(6), 698–712., 2013b), the multifaceted intervention, which included an online primer, workshop and reflective activities, aimed to (1) support students’ self-evaluation of placement performance, (2) encourage students to seek and receive feedback from clinical supervisors and peers to compare internally and externally derived feedback and (3) use these comparisons to generate a plan for improved work. The intervention, performed 3 times with 105 students, was evaluated using 2 surveys and one-off interviews (n = 28).

Students were highly satisfied with their intervention experiences and reported an enhanced understanding of the features of, and their role in, feedback processes. Moreover, students described being more actively engaged in placement feedback processes. They attributed these changes to feeling more empowered to ask for feedback to improve their performance. These findings suggest enhancing placement learning through student engagement in feedback needs to begin before placement, be enacted during placement and be consolidated following placement. This vertical reinforcement may occur through activities, which support feedback as a learning mechanism. Central to effective feedback engagement is planning for subsequent learning; thus, placement experiences and active feedback engagement will support students post-placement to plan and integrate further university-based learnings.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christy Noble
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Christine Sly
    • 1
  • Leigh Collier
    • 1
  • Lyn Armit
    • 1
  • Joanne Hilder
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Molloy
    • 4
  1. 1.Gold Coast HealthSouthportAustralia
  2. 2.Griffith UniversityMount GravattAustralia
  3. 3.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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