Clear Guidelines for Performance:

Effective feedback must be preceded by clear guidelines of what the field instructor expects from students in terms of their performance. Without these guidelines, students may feel they are being unfairly criticized, as expectations for their performance were not made clear.

Direct Observation:

Feedback is best received when it is based on direct observation of students’ performance, rather than comments from others.


Students are likely to respond well to feedback when they believe their field instructor understands them. It is important to analyze situations from your student’s perspective to try to understand his or her actions and to then communicate this understanding to your student.


Feedback is most effective when it is provided immediately following the action it concerns.


Feedback should be given after every direct observation of students’ performance. When feedback is provided regularly, students will expect this and be more open to discussing their performance.


Feedback is best received when it is balanced with both positive and negative comments. It is often best to begin providing feedback by identifying some of the positive elements of the student’s performance, and then addressing the areas that need improvement.

Conciseness and Directness:

Feedback should be clear and easy to understand. Specific and concrete suggestions for change should be provided.

Follow Up:

Effective feedback involves regularly following up on the student’s use of feedback. When suggestions for change or improvement are provided, tasks or assignments should be developed that offer the student the opportunity to incorporate these suggestions. This will allow students to correct mistakes and practice new skills.


  • The goal of feedback is to learn, whether it be from successes or mistakes.
  • Learning to receive and use feedback requires a positive mindset regarding its value and purpose.
  • Each student responds differently to feedback.
  • Feedback should initially be given tentatively to determine how the student best receives information
  • Encourage students to discuss their thoughts and feelings about receiving feedback.
  • When a student is given feedback they also need the opportunity and time to be able incorporate the suggestions.
  • Feedback is best received once a trusting and supportive environment has been established.
  • Recognize that you engage in the process of building an effective and positive relationship as you’re providing feedback.
  • The relationship you have with a student begins the day of the interview and evolves over time, allowing you do work together on a deeper level as you progress.
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