Constructing constructive feedback — a tutor’s guide

Constructing constructive feedback — a tutor’s guide

Feedback when tutoring an individual should be personalised to that individual, allow them to ask questions back as well as give any feedback back to you. The importance of the ability to give feedback in a constructive, helpful manner cannot be underestimated.

If your tutee does not trust your judgement or believes that you have missed something in your feedback, they should be able to raise a concern with you directly. This shows that they feel comfortable with you as well and trust your intentions in providing them with the feedback.

To give constructive feedback, you should always try to ensure that it is based on a few things:

  • Previous performance; if you have been tutoring a student for a while, you can highlight their ability in the initial sessions compared to now
  • Behaviour and performance in the current session; if a tutee has demonstrated great progress, whether homework or activity in the session, you can draw their attention to it
  • Ways to improve; if there are some elements of what you have been teaching to your tutee that your tutee still needs to work on, tailor more sessions and/or homework to achieve this. Communicate this with your tutee also, inform them of your intentions and 9 times out of 10, they’ll agree
  • If there is another person involved in your tutoring setup e.g. a parent/carer, inform them with status updates of the tutee’s progress regularly or when prompted. This can be a simple summary email/message after a session

Feedback allows us all to take a moment to reflect, providing a platform for introspection and the opportunity for us to take stock on our performance and ways to improve. These honest conversations can allow a tutor and a tutee to further understand each other and give further scope for the goals of the tutee to be achieved.

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