Learning Through Feedback:
The Northcentral University Writing Center


Northcentral offers students two primary ways to achieve their academic and professional goals: excellent programs and courses plus feedback and guidance from knowledgeable faculty.

TIP #1

Feedback is a key element of the one-to-one approach to learning at Northcentral. These tips will help you get the most from feedback in all of your courses.

Realize that feedback and grading are part of the learning process. Completing and submitting an assignment is the first part of your learning.

The second part of your learning is carefully reading and using the feedback from your instructor. Your instructor’s primary responsibility is to give feedback on your work. Your instructor teaches through feedback!

Your instructor offers guidance on useful resources, suggestions on how to improve your work, pointers on how your learning in one assignment or one course can serve you in other courses, and suggestions on what you can do outside of your coursework to develop skills you will need later.

You are spending time and money to learn and to grow as a professional in your field. Appreciating and using the constructive criticism you receive from your instructor is an important first step in your growth. Learn to love feedback! Welcome it! If you don't feel you're getting enough feedback, ask for more.

TIP #2

See your work from your instructor's point of view. If you were an instructor, would you avoid or hold back offering feedback on a student’s work? Would you see just giving a grade and saying a few words as the way in which you would want to share your hard-earned expertise and knowledge and fulfill your responsibility as a faculty member at an institution of higher learning? Wouldn’t you want to offer all the help and guidance you reasonably could?

TIP #3

Before submitting an assignment, look it over one more time, and judge it as your instructor will:

  • Did you follow the instructions?
  • Is your writing clear and compelling?
  • Did you cite your sources correctly?
  • Is your writing correct in punctuation, grammar, word usage, and APA style?
  • Did you demonstrate that you used and understood the materials required for the assignment?

If your answer to all these is not an enthusiastic “yes,” revise the assignment so it is the best you can make it.

TIP #4

Remember that feedback is aimed at your work, not at you as a person. Instructors value every Northcentral student as an individual and as a member of an intellectual community.

TIP #5

Take a rational approach to feedback. As constructive and useful as criticism is, it can be difficult to work long hours on a paper or presentation and receive a less than perfect grade and have errors pointed out.

If you react emotionally when you receive your grade or feedback, give yourself time to cool down before reacting further. Read the grade and the feedback, and then take a break. Come back to the paper and read the feedback one more time. Be sure to ask your instructor for further clarification to eliminate any possible misunderstandings.

“If at any time you feel you want additional feedback or support from your instructor, ask!”

TIP #6

See feedback as empowering. The purpose of feedback is to help you achieve excellence. Use the feedback as a tool for empowerment. When you begin a course, let the instructor know that you're looking forward to receiving guidance and the benefits of the instructor’s expertise.

If feedback is unclear, be sure to ask for clarification so that you understand exactly what the instructor had in mind. If at any time you feel you want additional feedback or support from your instructor, ask.

You'll find that instructors have individual styles of giving feedback, but each one is dedicated to empowering you to be the very best you possibly can be.

TIP #7

Make an appointment to contact your instructor. All instructors have office hours and all welcome synchronous contact. See the welcome letter from your instructor for instructions on making an appointment.

TIP #8

Enjoy the affirmation and encouragement you get from your instructor! Not all feedback points out problems. Good feedback also tells you what you are doing well and what you have mastered!