Brief summary of activityFeedback is (generally) information about actions. Feedback is a process whereby some proportion or in general, function, of the output signal of a system is passed (fed back) to the input. Often this is done intentionally, in order to control the dynamic behaviour of the system.
In workshops it is always important to know, where we are, concerning the learning matter and process:
What did we do, how was it, how do we want to continue? It is always recommendable, not only to close a workshop day or workshop with a feedback, but also to set it during the workshop to ensure self-learning and a good atmosphere. The trainers should ask the participants to demand for feedback themselves if they feel a need for it.
Aim of the activityThe activity > flash-light is one of the methods, one can use at the start, during and at the end of a workshop, but also in team work situations, where the team members offer feedback to the group about where she/he is at the moment. A ball or stick to pass around the circle could be useful.
Expected OutcomesParticipants will understand the importance of providing constructive feedback
MaterialsLittle ball or 'talking stick'
How the activity should take placeIn a short round participants and trainers tell about their feelings. This activity gives trainers and group a chance to know where everybody is 'at'. It is a useful activity to start a day, but can also be repeated when there are a lot of feelings in the room and decisions have to be taken.
Trainer Input: All participants are sitting in a chair circle. One participant after the other tells shortly how they feel in this moment (using a little ball or a 'talking stick' helps participants who usually don’t participate)
Rules for feedback (adapted from baustein zur nicht-rassistischen bidlungsarbeit):
● use I statements; tell stories not assumptions about the world (“I think/feel ...”)
● be concrete, don't generalise (“You always ...” produces defiance)
● only demand feedback if you yourself are ready to give feedback
● feedback is not an attack, don't get defensive, it's a message you listen to
● be clear and ask if something is not clear
● feedback is based on perception and emotion, don't discuss it, express it and listen to what others say
● give your own feedback, don't 'answer' other people’s feed-back.
Recommended max. number of participants and trainees to trainers ratio5 maximum, as otherwise the exercise might take too long
VariationsIf participants speak for too long, trainers have to make a sign as the idea of the activity is just a short overview. If a participant does not want to speak (which rarely happens), that’s OK.
Also, make clear that feedback should address actions, never the individual, and should not be absolute
Tips for TrainersFacilitation skills. It is important to ensure that feedback is delivered in a proper manner and it is also received as such, and otherwise it might create conflict within the group.
Invite the participants to use organised feedback also in all day work in the radio. This is a good method to improve communication in groups.
Use the handouts Feedback, Criteria for Feedback, Criteria for Trainer Feedbak and Criteria for Trainer Feedback Voice to provide some ideas about aspects to consider when providing feedback