So…. I had what I thought was a great first blog post ready
to go at the beginning of the school year and decided to ask my little brother,
David, who works in social media for
some feedback. Feedback to students is a
critical piece of the learning process and has a research-base that speaks to
its impact in supporting student learning.
Here is some of the feedback I got back from him:
Hey, some comments in the document. Overall, it's well
written, if a little verbose. You're trying to communicate too much in a single
sentence. Remember, this is a blog post. People have short attention spans and
your writing style is more 'thesis' oriented and not really very consumable by
the masses. I wouldn't stop you from publishing this as is, but you're trying to
communicate something to a very specific audience: parents. And your audience
is receiving this communication through an online medium: a blog. Blogs are
conducive to shorter, single purpose/concept communiques. Short, to-the-point
sentences, bullet lists, visual content (pictures) etc. help with making sure
the message gets across. The point of this blog is to say "I care about
education and your kids" and it reads like a PHD thesis. It's okay as is,
but for future blogs you need to think about what you're trying to communicate
and who you're communicating it to.
Hope that helps more than it confuses.
I know it brought him great
pleasure to be able to give his older sister feedback!
In order for feedback to be useful it need to be:
- timely –
given in a timeframe where the individual can act on it to improve their
- specific - “great work”
doesn’t cut it; the feedback needs to
highlight specific areas that can be improved or that are good so that the
individual can learn from it, and
- actionable – the feedback needs to be
something the individual can use to improve their work in the future.
In any case the year started and while the feedback from my
brother was timely, specific and actionable other priorities for my time
emerged and my first blog post fell to the back-burner. Moving forward I hope to share my values and beliefs with
you throughout the year, rather than in a "thesis-like" first blog post as was
the feedback I received from my brother.
Looking forward to an exciting year ahead!