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Giving feedback to students is crucial when it comes to achieving better results and improving less developed skills. For that reason, based on readings, we share with you 10 helpful tips to do an effective debriefing.

1. Establish a respectful learning environment

Work on a two-way communication flow. As an educator build a trusting and respectful relationship, so that you can discuss learners’ contexts and actions critically and openly.

2. Explain the rules of participation

Set up a simple learning agreement by detailing the learner’s goals and teacher’s feedback objectives. In this way, you will improve both the participants’ collaboration and their levels of satisfaction.

3. Schedule regular feedback sessions

Find the balance between summative assessment, at the end of a specific time period, and formative assessment, during the training period. Shape skills and knowledge continuously through feedback and give them a sense of performance improvement.

4. Begin with self-assessment

Let trainees express their initial emotions and desired actions. More than just promoting reflection it is important to show interest in their thoughts and self-analysis.

5. Improve future performance in similar situations

Start with the positive aspects in order to establish an environment of confidence. Then, share the corrections needed. In order to build effective feedback, explain what is incorrect and why, and provide practical examples and specific performance suggestions.

6. Verbal and non-verbal language of debriefing

Use a supportive and precise tone (positive language) and a descriptive and neutral wording. Pay attention to your body language: if you sit beside the learner, the position of power will minimize and you will be creating a more open environment.

7. Discover why the gap between desired actions and performance exists

Work on the ECO (Emotions Clarity Outcome) model by encouraging learners to focus on the previously established goals. Understand how feedback is received (analysis of emotions), make sure it is clear (content clarity) and after identifying needs, coach the creation of a plan (outcome).

8. Conclude with an action

Summarize the key points of the meeting and set up the next one. Limit the feedback to what the learner can absorb and always invite them to ask further questions.

9. Reflect on your feedback skills

Reflect on what went well and what needs to be changed in each session. Discuss challenges with peers and senior educators so you can work on your own self-improvement.

10. Recognize the learners as your future colleagues

Validate trainees’ tacit desire to be respected as an aspiring member of the profession. However, as an educator responsible for their performance improvement and their ability to overcome daily challenges, never forget that confidence and comfort are not the same thing.

For further readings