Asking for Feedback

Both staff and students play an important role in making sure that the GCU Feedback Principles are effective. We will aim to provide you with useful and timely feedback to help you improve your work on an ongoing basis.

In turn, we ask you to:

  • Collect any feedback that’s available to you (this might be in paper form, electronic or by meeting your lecturer in person)
  • Take time to read it through and check that you understand it

Does the feedback make sense to you? Do you understand what you did well and how you can improve in the future? If not, don’t hesitate to contact your lecturer or Module Leader for clarification or to ask for more feedback.

We know that it can sometimes feel daunting for new students to approach staff with questions about your feedback. However, if you don’t understand the feedback that you've received for a piece of work, it’s almost impossible to know how to improve next time. Asking questions and seeking clarification are key aspects of the feedback dialogue and are central to becoming an independent learner.

Who to ask for more feedback

  • Your first point of call should be your lecturer or Module Leader – email or call them to ask for a meeting to discuss your feedback. 
  • You can also contact the Learning Development Centre (LDC) in your School. The LDCs provide advice and guidance on all aspects of academic development, including academic writing, study skills, ICT help and more. Regardless of your grades, they can help you get to grips with the feedback that you’ve received on your course, and to develop an action plan for improving next time.
  • Could you also discuss your feedback with fellow students? A trusted friend or colleague has more distance from your work and may be able to help you view the feedback more objectively.

How to ask for more feedback

  • As you settle in to University, you’ll get you know the best way to contact the academic team in your department. Some staff have an open-door policy, others might have designated office hours or ask that you make an appointment.
  • If in doubt, email or call your lecturer or Module Leader to ask for a meeting to discuss your feedback. That way, you’ll be sure that they have enough time to answer your questions, and you won’t waste time trying to catch them at a convenient time.
  • Sometimes you might not need or want a 1:1 meeting if you have a straightforward question that can be answered quickly and easily. If so, email your lecturer or Module Leader with your question(s) – but stick to simple things that won’t need in-depth discussion.

Preparing for a feedback meeting

  • It’s important that you prepare for a feedback meeting in the same way that you’d prepare for any other meeting at University.
  • Be clear on what you want to ask. Take a list of any questions you have with you – it’s easy to get side-tracked and forget to ask something.
  • You could email your questions to the staff member in advance if they are likely to be pressed for time or if you have complex questions.
  • Take a notepad and pen with you and jot down anything that you’ll need to remember. This could be useful information, or could be clarification on what you’ve done well and what you can do to improve.
  • Remember to ask questions if you still don’t understand something – the aim of the meeting is for you to feel clearer on the feedback that you’ve received and how you can use it to improve future work.
  • Remember that you can ask questions about anything else that you’d like clarification or help with. If you were unsure about any aspect of completing the assignment, take the opportunity to ask your lecturer for feedback on this. It may be content-specific or more general, e.g. around referencing, structure, analysis etc.

What to ask

  • The exact questions that you want to ask will depend on a number of different things – whether you’ve received your feedback yet, whether you understand it, whether you agree with it, whether you need additional support and so on.
  • However, there are some general questions that are always useful to think about before you ask for more feedback – you can find them in the Using Feedback Successfully learning unit within GCULearn. Select ‘enrol’ to access the Feedback for Future Learning Community for the first time or ‘log-in’ if you have visited it before.
  • We would encourage you to work through this and the other units in the series – they explore the nature and purpose of feedback, giving useful tips about how you can make the most of the feedback that you receive at GCU and beyond.