Facilitating learning in practice
Facilitating learning in practice

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Facilitating learning in practice

6.1 Delivering feedback

There are various models to help you consider how you would like to deliver feedback. Examples of these are shown below. Figure 3 depicts the effective feedback cycle.

Described image
Figure 3 Effective feedback cycle

The four stages of feedback according to Duffy (2013) are:

  1. Gauge the student’s expectations of feedback.
  2. Gather information on student practice.
  3. Act immediately.
  4. Be specific.

Jerome (1995) describes four other stages of giving feedback:

  1. Provide a description of current behaviours that you want to reinforce and redirect to improve a situation.
  2. Identify specific situations where these behaviours have been observed.
  3. Describe impacts and consequences of the current behaviours.
  4. Identify alternative behaviours and actions that can be taken.

Activity 7 Giving feedback

Allow 30 minutes

Watch the video below, produced by the University of Plymouth, Faculty of Health, and answer the following questions for each of the four student scenarios.

Download this video clip.Video player: describe_yourself_on_placement.mp4
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Describe yourself on placement

Student A
Hi, I'm Anna. I’ve been on this placement a while now. I already know what I’m doing. I’ve got all the skills that I need, and they are all practical skills. I’m not really concerned about all the psycho-social needs of a patient, and what’s going on in their lives.
Student B
I'm getting on ok, I guess. I know enough about the patients and their conditions to get me by. My record keeping is pretty brief. I can’t be bothered really to participate in patient handovers and I do try to get away as quickly as I can at the end of the day. I’ve been known to fall asleep once in a while at the end of a meeting; it’s just not really my sort of thing, really. I can’t wait to move on.
Student C
Hi, my name’s Beth. I’m quite confident actually in what I’m doing. I know exactly what I’m doing but for some reason, my mentors keep questioning me. Why they keep questioning me, I do not know. I know exactly what I’m doing; well, that’s what I make them think. Some of it is a bit patchy – the more complex things. But do you know what? I can get around that by distracting them with something else. So I don’t know why they keep getting on at me. I’ve got on really well with my other placements.
Student D
I’m well organised and reliable. Many people I work with tell me I am. Whenever I’m asked to do anything I just do it. However, I don’t show initiative or volunteer. I’d rather just get on and do what I’m told. I don’t like to get involved in general conversations. I don’t see why I should; I’m quite a private person.
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  • What feedback would you give the student?
  • What would you advise the student to do to overcome the situation?
  • What are the consequences of not giving the student feedback or direction?

Write in your notebook or portfolio what your feedback would include and how you would deliver this. Pause the video after each scenario to write down your answers.


You may have chosen to utilise one of the models above to structure your feedback to the students in the video clips. Each situation will be different, as all students will have individual needs. You may be able to directly observe other colleagues and role models in giving feedback to gain an overview of different approaches first-hand; however, with practice you will become more confident with your own style. It is also useful to ask the student how they felt about receiving your feedback, which can contribute to your learning and influence how you give feedback in future.

Below is an example ‘script’ for providing constructive feedback.

An example of constructive feedback

‘How did you feel about that care episode today?’

Allow the student time to express their views and reflect on the care scenario, incorporating these points into your feedback as appropriate.

‘I felt the care you gave to Mr S was good, as you demonstrated care and compassion and maintained his dignity throughout. There are a few things that you could try to incorporate next time in order to improve your nursing care. You did introduce yourself and explained the procedure you were about to perform, but you could explain this further in terms that Mr S would understand, as you did use some medical terms. You also need to check a patient’s understanding and give them time to ask any questions before commencing the procedure. I was really pleased to see you ensured that Mr S was comfortable before leaving and asked him if he needed anything. It was also good to see you placed the call buzzer within reach. How do you feel about the feedback I’ve given you …?’

Allow the student time to ask for clarification from the points you have raised and any differences of opinion. Be prepared to justify your assessment of the situation and feedback given. Be open to learn about your own feedback mechanisms and encourage the student to give feedback to you.

‘So, if you’re happy to move forward we can now agree some action points from this discussion to give you direction in how to develop your nursing care.’

Mentorship programme

If you are completing these learning materials as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, use the protected learning time allowed to be observed giving feedback to a student. Reflect on this process and discuss with your own supervisor, identifying areas of strength and any areas for improvement. This can be included within your portfolio of evidence.


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