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Table 1 Set of 25 educator behaviours that demonstrate high quality feedback in clinical practice

From: Educators’ behaviours during feedback in authentic clinical practice settings: an observational study and systematic analysis

Orientation and Process
1. Based on observed performance
The educator’s comments were based on observed performance
2. Timely feedback
The educator offered to discuss the performance as soon as practicable
3. Feedback purpose clear
The educator explained that the purpose of feedback is to help the learner improve their performance
4. Establish a non-judgmental atmosphere: ‘here to help’
The educator indicated that while developing a skill, it is expected that some aspects can be improved and the educator is here to help, not criticise
5. Clarify feedback process, so learner knows what to expect
The educator described the intended process for the feedback discussion
Learner-centred Focus
6. Encourage dialogue
The educator encouraged the learner to engage in interactive discussions
7. Seek learner’s priorities
The educator asked the learner about their learning priorities for the observation and feedback discussion, and responded to them
8. Encourage learner to ‘work it out for themselves’
The educator encouraged the learner to consider the issues and possible solutions during the feedback discussion
9. Encourage learner to focus on learning, rather than trying to cover up limitations
The educator encouraged the learner to discuss difficulties and ask questions regarding the performance so the educator could help the learner to develop solutions
10. Acknowledge learner’s emotional response
The educator acknowledged and responded appropriately to emotions expressed by the learner
11. ‘Best interests at heart’
The educator showed respect and support for the learner
Performance Analysis
12. Clarify the value of self-assessment
The educator asked what the learner understood about the benefits of self-assessment and helped clarify
13. Learner self-assessment
The educator asked the learner to identify key similarities and differences between the learner’s performance and the target performance
14. Target performance and reasoning clear
The educator clarified with the learner key features of the target performance and explained the reasoning
15. Educator assessment, including clear performance gap
The educator clarified with the learner similarities and differences between the learner’s performance and the target performance
16. Educator comments on a few, important issues
The educator’s comments focused on key issues for improving the performance
17. Specific instance (‘what happened’)
First the educator described, using neutral language, what the learner did (action, decision or behaviour), and the consequences
18. Educator’s perspective clear (‘why it matters’)
The educator clearly explained their perspective on the learner’s actions, including the reason for their concern
19. Educator explores learner’s perspective (‘why’ the learner acted as they did)
The educator explored the learner’s perspective and reasoning to reveal the basis for the learner’s actions (e.g. what was the learner trying to do and options considered/ difficulties encountered)
20. Focus on actions, not the person (‘did’ not ‘is’)
The educator’s comments were focused on the learner’s actions not personal characteristics
Action Plan
21. Select learning priorities: most useful (important and relevant) for the learner
The educator helped the learner to select a couple of key aspects of the performance to improve
22. Develop the action plan: how to do it!
The educator helped the learner to work how they could improve their performance and specify the practical steps to achieve it
23. Check the learner understands the plans
The educator checked if the learner understood their learning goals and action plan, by asking them to summarise it in their own words
24. Checks the learner understands the rationale: ‘why it’s better’
The educator checked if the learner understood the rationale for their learning goals and action plan
25. Plan opportunities to review the impact of the feedback
The educator discussed with the learner possible subsequent opportunities for the learner to review their progress
  1. Reproduced with permission from Johnson et al. BMC Medical Education (2016) 16:96 Identifying educator behaviours for high quality verbal feedback in health professions education: literature and expert refinement