Feedback: Gaining a Second Opinion

We encounter the word feedback all the time, such as: customer feedback, employer feedback, employee feedback, guest feedback, school feedback, teacher feedback and the list goes on.

So what exactly is feedback? While we generally understand it as an action to provide criticism or evaluation, why is it so important that it is still widely applied in all aspects of our daily life? Isn’t our own opinion on the matter enough?


Is One Opinion Really Enough?

To understand why feedback is important, we have to first grasp how limited a singular opinion can be. Research has actually shown that having one opinion is highly restrictive, common sense also dictates that having more input always creates a more diverse POV of any issue. Using one head to think about issues almost always leads to it agreeing with itself, as a person cannot grasp beyond what he/she understands and that can be a major flaw. Relying on one opinion is just like talking to yourself in the mirror, much like the owl below. So be smart, don’t be like that owl!


The Value of a Second Opinion

Feedback can be viewed as gaining a second opinion and in that sense, even medical patients are highly recommended to gain a second opinion to their diagnoses. This shows no matter how great an expert (in this case, the doctor) can be, he/she can make mistakes too and that’s why second opinions are highly important. The process of providing feedback allows the exchange of viewpoints and more importantly, it is directed to relevant parties. For example, the relevant parties for customer feedback would be between the company and the client, school feedback would be between the teacher and student and so on. This exchange of viewpoints and information involves both the performance expected and what was exhibited. The information is then used to improve existing systems and ideas, which allows the individual or group to make more informed decisions in the future. Interactivity is the key word here to improvement and advancement. All great progress such as Apple, Google and Microsoft were results of combining more than one idea and listening to all relevant parties in order for constant improvement.


Learning About What Others Have To Say

With the understanding above, who would dispute that feedback is an essential part to growth and improvement? This is especially true when it comes to learning in the modern world. As teachers provide learners feedback, new information is being introduced to the student on ways to improve on their learning. The wonderful part about feedback is that it goes both ways, as even students provide teachers feedback on ways to improve their teaching methods and so on. The result? Schools perform better, society advances further and everybody wins! The usage of feedback thus serves the giver, the receiver, and the wider organization. This makes it an indispensable tool for improvement.

Here are more reasons as to why feedback is just great for learning:

“Listening” effectively
Regardless of which form of communication feedback is done, one has to receive the information fully in order to provide proper feedback. This indirectly encourages the giver to properly evaluate the situation before providing feedback, allowing them to understand better. On top of that, the receiver also learns to accept criticism better over time, thus becoming a better listener. Listening is not just vital to be a good learner, but also to have a good character in life.

Motivating change and positivity
When a person receives criticism from others, they become aware of their mistakes. Without awareness, it is almost impossible to improve on the elements that we do not see and feedback helps with this. On top of that, when a person is giving or receiving feedback, they feel more appreciated as their opinions are taken into consideration. This creates a positive environment where everyone can improve each other!

Improving performance and continued learning
We normally ask feedback from people whom we believe are better experts with the matter at hand, and this in turn allows us to see ways to improve our methods. Even if the person isn’t an expert, a differing opinion is always refreshing and gives something new for the person to think about. The important thing here about feedback is that it creates an environment of continued learning. While we exchange opinions and ideas, we constantly register new things into our head. It’s as they say: Learning is a never ending process.

The usage of feedback is without a doubt a very powerful tool. Frankly speaking, relying on one’s own opinion is just not enough to achieve greater heights. We have to embrace the opinions of others not just because they bring added value, but also because we humans live in a community where interacting with others is essential. The practice of feedback allows constructive criticism to happen, be it for the giver or receiver. As a whole, feedback improves our learning and enables us to further reach a higher state of mind and character.

BeED identifies the usefulness of feedback and applies it to our systems. While we are very open in receiving constructive criticisms in hopes to further improve, we mainly centralize our focus in improving the learning experience. Our application is designed to have a hub where teachers or parents can review and comment on the answers that learners provide while doing a Learning Experience. This allows a boost in communication and paves a more healthy growth for all.

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  1. Beth, Holloway. “The Value of a Second Opinion.” University of Rochester Medical Center. University of Rochester, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
  2. Carlos Lemes, Wagner Machado. Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who Is the Prettiest Owl of Them All? Digital image. Flickr. Yahoo, 30 Oct. 2008. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
  3. “Engage in Feedback.” University of Reading. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
  4. “The Importance of Feedback to Students.” Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. N.p., 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.
  5. Wyse, Susan E. “5 Reasons Why Feedback Is Important.” Snap Surveys Blog. Snap Survey, 1 July 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

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