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How to Include Feedback in Training

Posted by Linda Carole Pierce on 1/2/14 3:00 AM
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Giving feedback to the learner during training is essential. Learners need to know how they are doing while practicing the content. I have heard several stories where trainers have left the room during learner practice, or feedback was withheld until the end of the class, the end of the course, or not offered at all. More often than not, this highlights serious instructional design issues.


Feedback needs to be considered during the instructional design process. The designer needs to identify when the feedback should be provided, who should be providing it, what feedback methods to use, and how it should be delivered. The instructor, particularly a new instructor, should not have to guess what the instructional designer envisioned for the course. Therefore, it is important to incorporate the when, who, what, and how, when designing feedback in training.


When: feedback should be offered during, or immediately following, learner practice.

Who: feedback can be provided by the instructor or peer-to-peer. Learners can also do self-assessments using an answer key.

What: There are a variety of feedback methods that can be used. If the instructor is providing feedback during the learner practice, positive reinforcement while monitoring should be offered. Peer-to-peer or partner feedback is a method that is commonly used. Debriefing an exercise is also a method of feedback.

How: Feedback should always begin with the positives—what went well. Then it is safe to point out areas needing improvement. Finally, it is important to offer specific ways to improve.


When it all comes down to it, and participants are given honest, gentle, and timely feedback, it can only set them up for success back on the job. Incorporating these guidelines will help you do that. Please join us in our instructional design and instructional techniques courses where we discuss feedback in much more detail.

Instructional Designer Starter Kit

Linda has been a course leader with Langevin since 2005. She graduated from New York University with a degree in Organizational Behavior and Communication. She’s also had the privilege of teaching at NYU’s Gallatin Division in the area of Theatre and Education. Linda began her career facilitating conflict resolution and coexistence workshops for diverse groups, and running workshops in the Middle East and South Africa, as well as facilitating social issues workshops for young people in the NYC school system. Linda believes learning works best when it is student-centered, experiential, interactive, and fun. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find Linda at the theatre, either as an audience member or actor, or spending quality time with her family and friends.

Tags: instructional techniques, tips-for-trainers, instructional design

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