Time to take a seasonal break from my rather tedious recent posts and to return to a reflection on feedback.
The column ‘Feedback’ (what else!) on the penultimate page of the Christmas and New Year New Scientist special (24/31 December 2011), includes the following:
‘John …recalls a senior manager urging staff to provide feedback for his latest project, ‘but it must be positive’…
John could not help but explain that negative feedback produced growth and stability and positive feedback produced burnout’
John is clearly a man after my own heart! Not only do scientists and senior managers use the adjectives ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ in this context to mean rather different things; those working in assessment are completely confused. The problem is that the impact of assessment feedback may be positive or negative (in both senses of both definitions) and the outcome is difficult to predict.
Happy Christmas and very best wishes for 2012.