“It’s yours to take”: generating learner feedback literacy in the workplace

Christy Noble*, Stephen Billett, Lyn Armit, Leigh Collier, Joanne Hilder, Christine Sly, Elizabeth Molloy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Feedback can improve students’ learning and performance on clinical placements, yet students are often dissatisfied with the process. Attempts to improve feedback frequently focus on faculty development programs without addressing learners’ capabilities to engage with feedback. For feedback to be effective, students need to understand its processes and to translate this into practice. Developing student feedback literacy may enhance feedback engagement and, therefore, learning outcomes. This qualitative interview study aimed to problematise student feedback literacy in the healthcare setting, from the learner’s perspective. Before commencing placements, 105 healthcare students at an Australian teaching hospital participated in a feedback literacy program. After their placements, 27 students engaged in semi-structured interviews to explore their feedback experiences. Informed by workplace learning theory, interview transcripts were analysed using the framework method of qualitative analysis. Students reported reframing feedback as a process they could initiate and engage in, rather one they were subjected to. When they took an intentional stance, students noted that feedback conversations generated plans for improvement which they were enacting. However, students had to work hard against orthodox feedback expectations and habits in healthcare. They privileged intraprofessional supervisor feedback over interprofessional practitioners, patients, or peers. Findings suggest that student engagement with feedback can be augmented with focussed retraining. However, further research examining the structural and cultural influences on students’ capacity to be active in workplace feedback is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Health Sciences Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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