An important aspect of the postgraduate journey and beyond is giving and receiving constructive feedback. It forms part of a process of growing a community of knowers, and of generating and refining emerging ideas. In fact, it would be a myth to believe that ideas are generated alone, in fact often enough, they emerge through a special configuration of knowers and critical readers. Here are some guidelines are giving and receiving feedback.
1. Giving feedback:
You can use the following questions as a guide to provide feedback to other peers / researchers?
- Are there any ideas you would like to know more detail about?
- What strikes you as interesting or relevant as a possible research focus?
- Give a personal response to the text.
- Pick out one thing you notice about how this author writes about their research.
Lucia Thesen, based at the University of Cape Town, tells us how being a ‘Critical reader’ is not just about ‘seeing gaps’ but also about ‘seeing potential’ and ‘making connections’.
2. Receiving feedback:
Give some thought to what you have learnt from others’ comments on your work. Think about which ideas you might take forward.
Here some thoughts on the student-supervisor relationship:
Find yourself a critical reader and share your writing with him / her.
Likewise, opt to give feedback to one of your peers on their writing. You could even form a small Writers Circle where you meet weekly to generate feedback on people’s research writing.