The purpose of this paper is to increase insight in the mechanisms of feedback processes by investigating what kind of feedback characteristics lead to what specific kind of informal learning activities (ILAs).
The 31 persons participated were recruited by the snowball method, and work in education, healthcare or profit sector. They filled out a learning log. The respondents wrote down feedback incidents that occurred and the ILA they carried out in response. A total of 367 feedback incidents led to 913 ILA. Quantitative analyses such as correlations and regression analyses are conducted.
Feedback led to ILA, especially to reflection, and communication with colleagues. There is no pattern found in the relation between outcomes. Timing aspects seem irrelevant for ILA. Feedback consisting of discussing possibilities for personal improvement leads to ILA. Precise, positive and helpful feedback leads to ILA.
Because of the aim and design of the study, the outcomes are not generalizable and individual characteristics (e.g. motivation, attitude) were not measured. A few ILA are mentioned only a few times.
Feedback that consists of discussing possibilities for personal improvement can be used to increase ILA. Feedback can be used to increase reflection and communication at work. Creating a work culture that fosters learning from feedback is important. The quality of feedback providing competences is important.
This paper gives in-depth insight into the relation between specific characteristics of feedback and the ILA. It also assesses to what ILA a specific feedback incident (directly) leads.
The author thanks Magdalena Mandl for data collection and coding.
H. Mulder, R. (2013), "Exploring feedback incidents, their characteristics and the informal learning activities that emanate from them", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 49-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090591311293284
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