Sunday, April 9, 2017

How to Craft Constructive Feedback

Below I've provided a transcription of How to Craft Constructive Feedback, an infographic at Jenn Gibbs' Invisible Sun (no relation!).

This is feedback in the context of writing workshops, so it is very relevant to my classes, and it is also good advice that can be translated into general teaching terms also.

There's apparently no larger size available, so all the more reason to transcribe. :-)


Great things happen when creators and critics synch their expectations for the workshop experience.

When the purpose is self-expression...

Just sharing, thanks. BE A WITNESS. The root of art is a soul talking out loud. Sometimes even advanced artists don't need a critic; they just need a respectful witness for their work. Just listen and say thanks for being trusted.

How's it coming across? BE A MIRROR. When a creator wants more than a smile yet less than a full critique, two questions can open discussion of the audience experience while still focusing on a work's expressive function: "What stood out for you?" and "Was there anything you wanted more of?"

When the purpose is to craft a performance...

BE A GUIDE. Lay it on me. I need to create an experience for an audience and am willing to work for it. *
* And I promise not to sulk if I don't hear what I want to hear.

1. OBSERVE a feature of the work and give examples, using neutral language.
"Ina is dynamic character; you never know what she's going to do. On page 2 she gives the homeless guy $20 but on page 5 she yells at the dishwasher for taking rolls for her kids."

2. DESCRIBE the effect(s) this feature has on you, the audience.
"I didn't know what to expect from Ina next, which was interesting, yet distracting, as I couldn't tell if it was part of her character or an oversight."

3. SUGGEST what the creator might do in revision.
"Having other characters respond to Ina's inconsistency might make this feature a clearer part of who Ina is."

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