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Confidence Building Feedback

By giving frequent confidence building feedback, faculty develop student inner strengths. It takes little to no time, money, or extensive training reinforce learning with positive words. The formula for building confidence is frequent and focused feedback. Faculty should:


• Give praise that is specific and use examples

• Use the student’s name, make eye contact & level yourself

• Not limit yourself to “Good job” responses

• Offer positive feedback continuously - stating it once…can be like nothing at all

• Never underestimate the power of expressing gratitude

Stephen Covey said, “Next to physical survival, the greatest needs of a human being are psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, and to be appreciated.” “I believe a good pat on the back is one of the greatest encouragers we have,” said John Wooden. Feedback that builds student self-concept and confidence starts with words like:

· You are right on track That is exactly right

· You are doing fine That is a neat idea

· Wow, that is incredible You make it look so easy

· I have never seen anyone do it better You are good at that

· I am proud of the way you … One more time and you will have it

· You make my job fun That’s perfection

· Well, look at you go! How did you think of that?

For feedback to be effective, students need to know:

· What constitutes good work

· How their current work compares to good work

· What to do to close the gap between the two


Feedback does not need to be limited to test scores. With the assistance of digital tools, instructors have more opportunity for ongoing feedback. Feedback should help students become self-managing learners who are aware of their own strengths and opportunities for improvement. Moreover, to engage and motivate students, assignments should be worth doing. Above all, feedback needs to be authentic, frequent, and encouraging. Nicol (2007, p205) describes seven principle of good and effective feedback:



· Clarifies what constitutes good performance, referring to learning outcomes, criteria, and expected standards

· Helps students develop self-assessment (reflection) in learning

· Gives high quality information to students about their learning

· Encourages instructor and peer discussion about learning

· Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem

· Provides opportunities to improve work quality and close the gap between current and desired work quality

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