I attended a feedback workshop at the TLC conference by Joellen Killion.  She asked us to create a definition for ourselves of feedback.   Here was mine:  information that enables the receiver to adjust his/her performance

And now — here was hers: Feedback is a dynamic, dialogic process that uses evidence to engage a learner, internally or with a learning partner, in constructing knowledge about practice and self  (Joellen Killion The Feedback Process p 13)

Some of her key questions included: Who is the expert?  Who is in charge?  Who has the power?

Key terms from her definition included: dynamic, dialogic, process, evidence, learner, learning partner, learning object, constructing knowledge


The rest of my notes from her engaging session are below.


When the knowledge is spoken by the partner/coach rather than the learner, we can be certain that no construction took place.  The learner needs to be the one creating the new knowledge.

very constructivist — feedback cannot simply be “given” and “received”

information vs knowledge — indicative of cognitive demand — knowledge demands work of the learner.

Mary Budd Rowe — wait time

Feedback Typology

  1.  desistance — comes from “desist” — or STOP — coach is in charge, learner is responsible — expectation is obedience, not reasoning why.  Creates a situation like with a two year old — we say stop and the child keeps returning again and again.
  2. Correction — adds the layer of “instead of that, do this” — Book Eat This, Not That — provides instruction or information about the preferred behavior.
  3. approval/disapproval — communicated two ways — verbal and non-verbal (way more is communicated non-verbally)  Coach is doing the work.  learner doesn’t necessarily know WHY the behavior was approved or disapproved.  No criteria evident or available for these first three types.
  4. attribution — Kegan and Lahey — How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work — Says who or what the other person is — using adjectives or attributes  — Implies a criteria but does not communicate it to the learner.  “You are so thoughtful” “You are so stubborn”  Presumes that the coach holds the power and gets to act and produce a reaction.
  5. evaluation — pivot point — in the purest sense — evaluation means giving a score.  It is the judgement of the evaluator, the criteria is not necessarily clear or communicated. Think about High School English — i wrote and essay and I got a B+.  I didn’t know why, but I was graded/evaluated.
  6. assessment — has to have an objective or some declaration of the expectation.  the end result or ideal state must be clear.  Also needs a scale.  Must be able to identify where someone is on the pathway in terms of moving toward the goal. Answers the questions — where are we going?  And Where are we?  I know the gap. Criteria become necessary and public.  Have to be understood by the coach and the learner in some way.  If the learner cannot understand and explain the criteria, then you cannot move any further on this scale.
  7. analysis — knowing the end, knowing where I am, knowing the gap AND understanding the criteria well enough that what needs to be done to close the gap can be identified (might be by the learner or the coach — constructivism requires that it be by the learner.)
  8. construction — the learner is constructing a new understanding. Often something that the learner has never seen or thought before.  How I as an actor in an environment influence the other players and the environment itself. Conclusion or hypothesis drawn is essentially “So, when I…. students will…”
  9. deconstruction — taking the brand new learning and imagine when it won’t work — Under what circumstances might it not be true.  this is when the idea of instructional decision making becomes clear — I could choose X or Y and the reason to choose Y is… and the reason to choose X is….