Reflection and Feedback

Site: RRU Open Educational Resources
Course: OER-TMSWC: TeamsWork Moodle Course - Master Course
Book: Reflection and Feedback
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Wednesday, 8 April 2020, 2:37 PM


Giving and receiving feedback is a vital part of communication and team performance. Feedback is a tool that is consistently used in the work world, both formally and informally. Bob Dignenat Cambridge University states, that "feedback is around us all the time... every time we speak or listen to another person, in our tone of voice, in the words we use, in the silences which we allow, we communicate feedback."

Quite often giving and receiving feedback can be painful, embarrassing and uncomfortable, however when flipping the feedback paradigm to feedforward (focusing on next steps, instead of past mistakes), it can be a development tool that focuses on vision, goals and positive next steps.

When done effectively, feedback has the ability to motivate and develop performance. This is why it is crucial for feedback to happen at all stages of team assignments, not just at the end! When feedback back is given at key stages it can be a development tool for each team member.


Feedback allows students to monitor learning and development. Integrating feedback and reflection demonstrates a willingness to deepen learning about course concepts and refine team processes. It allows team members to learn from the past so that they can make positive changes for the future. Feedforward is a model that looks at next steps forward. We suggest you use a combination of both feedback and feedforward, through the completion of your team assignment.

At Royal Roads University, team members work closely together on a regular basis. As a result, team members are ideally placed to observe behaviours and offer meaningful and compassionate feedback. Furthermore, teamwork can amplify personal strengths and challenges. Through reflection and feedback students can actively build on their strengths and compensate for their challenges, and achieve their goals.

View this feedback video from MindTools, which discusses key tips on how to give feedback to your team members.

Personal Contribution and Reflection

We discussed in Unit One, Personal Reflection and we highly encourage you to re-visit and consider and review the reflection questions. Another reflection tool that you can use is a personal SWOT analysis (you may have used this for a business class or within your business). SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can do this at the start of your assignment personally, allowing each member of the team to share their personal insight.

Individual accountability is important because it helps to manage team process and can clearly differentiate performers from non performers. We highly suggest that when building your team agreements, that you include an expectation of team members to keep a personal contribution file.

Why document personal contribution? They are useful when issues arise about individual contributions and help with providing more detail in peer evaluations. Not only will this support your team, but it will get you in the habit of documenting your work and accomplishments in your career. Documenting accomplishments at work is crucial to your success in obtaining promotions and new jobs.

How will do we use them? Your team can request to record their contributions to the team as they happen, on a weekly basis, or submitted with the team at important benchmark dates.


The Power of Feedback

Ted Talks: How to use others’ feedback to learn and grow


Marshall Goldsmith has developed and tested the concept of 'feedforward.' Feedforward is the practice of giving suggestions for the future and next steps. Read his Try Feedforward Instead of Feedback article.

We encourage you try this process with your team members! Here is the feedforward process:

Allow one person to respond at a time

  1. Team member starts with telling their team members: "The behaviour I would like to enhance or change is..."
  2. The same team member then asks their team members: "What behaviour would you suggest I focus on to be a stronger team member (use the feedforward method to state this)."
  3. Each team member takes turn stating one behaviour they suggest that person could focus on as feedforward.
  4. The person receiving the feedforward only says THANK YOU!
  5. Next Round: Same person: Each member of the team will go around again and say: "What I appreciated about working with you in our team was..."

Additional Feedback & Feedforward Resources:

Feedforward instead of 360 Tool

Giving Feedback: Keeping team members performance high and well-integrated

Self and Peer Assessment

Peer and self assessment many times is a mandatory part of your assignment process, as instructed by your teacher. Team coaches work diligently with faculty and you to ensure that you are practicing and using peer and self assessment tools. Currently, ITP Metrics has a Peer Feedback Assessment that we use within teams. When you use this tool you are required to identify both self and peer contribution.

Self Assessment: requires you to identify you skills and standards to make judgements on whether you have met the criteria expected (this is where your personal contribution file will be used!)

Peer Assessment: involves team members making evaluative judgements regarding individuals and the team as a whole.

For this type of assessment to be valid and valuable, team members must have include reflective notes and on of how the group worked, what they contributed and how the process could have been improved.

Additional Resources:

Here is a rubric that you can use during your assignment process, to initiate team development conversation

Peer and Self Assessment Questions

Effective Support

We know that feedback and feedforward is a necessary part of team development and success, but what is also equally as important is implementation! It is important that you understand how your team mates (and others) can best support you to attain your goals.

Ask your self these questions & share within your team:

  • What kind of support works best for me to move forward?
  • What kind of support does not work well for me?
  • The ways I tend to "hide out" (behaviours) when I am disengaging from my tea (or when I am under pressure/stress) are:
  • My level of commitment on a scale of 1-10 to keep my agreement with myself and others during the next ____ month is ______.

See Building Effective Support for more information!


Celebrate your successes! Celebrations allow teams to relax and unwind, and strengthen social bonds. They create space for self-reflection and mark team progress. Celebrations also give teams something to look forward to. Celebrations can be small (a round of congratulations at the end of a team meeting) or big (handing in that last team assignment of the semester).

The intensity of teamwork can be varied with celebrations, pulling teams forward with the lure of a special event, and slowing work down to pause and remark on a job well done. Build celebrations into work plans. Look for obvious celebratory events such as birthdays, cultural holidays, and transitions in the school year. Take advantage of unexpected moments such as a particularly great contribution from one of your teammates. Celebrating success creates focus, reinforces positive behaviours, and helps make successful behaviours stick.