Thinking About Thinking: A Feedback Workshop

December 17, 2021
Thinking About Thinking: A Feedback Workshop

Throughout the fall semester, the Incubator’s Instructional Design Specialist, Nina Bhattacharya; Bok Pedagogy Fellow, Elizabeth Hentschel; and Scholar-in-Residence, Terry Aladjem came together to brainstorm the best ways to prepare the Teaching Fellows for Faculty Director Sue J. Goldie’s upcoming General Education course at Harvard College. Since its inception, Goldie’s introductory global health course, World Health: Challenges and Opportunities, has been lauded for its pedagogical approach and innovation. One key element that is central to Dr. Goldie’s pedagogical approach is the art of giving good feedback. As such, the Incubator’s pedagogy staff pulled together a hands-on workshop centered on “Giving Good Feedback”.

“We want to provide Fellows with concrete skills directly applicable to their experience teaching this spring,” shared Bhattacharya, who led the workshop for previous cohorts of Teaching Fellows. 

Introducing the session, Hentschel guided the graduate students through reflecting about a pivotal experience in which they received feedback. Thereafter, the Teaching Fellows engaged in a small group activity where they evaluated real-life feedback given by a previous fellow for the course. The workshop wrapped up with collective sharing and an opportunity to rewrite the feedback that required further refinement. Core themes that arose from the workshop included shifting to a more growth-focused perspective of providing feedback, staying away from subjective assumptions, and providing critical and productive feedback with positive framing.

These takeaways are some of the many skills Teaching Fellows will continue to develop throughout the course, which commences in January 2022.