Building a Culture of Feedback in Your Organization: A Key Leadership Goal for Technical Communicators


Bill Hart-Davidson


May 11, 2016 - 2:00 PM


May 11, 2016 - 3:00 PM

This webinar is based on two in-depth online modules the presenter and his colleagues have developed, based on published research, about the power of feedback as a driver for learning in writing. Here, it is presented to technical writers who themselves are asked to lead their teams to becoming better communicators. We think of this aspect of a technical communicator’s work as “writing stewardship” – helping their organization, as a whole, improve in writing.

Gold-standard meta-analysis research on literacy learning is clear: the most important influence on writers of all ages is other writers. More than “expert” feedback from any source (teachers, editors, etc.), feedback that comes from peers influences what writers do. To move the needle on writing quality in any group of learners, then, we must develop a culture of high-quality feedback.

In the webinar, participants will be able to work though an exercise from a workshop curriculum that designed to help teams practice giving and using feedback to improve their writing. The goal is not better drafts. The goal is better writers. We will focus on what makes a good comment and what counts as “helpful” feedback. Good feedback is grounded in shared criteria and offers a balance of descriptive and suggestive detail which can drive revision. The exercise asks participants to look at how to break those elements down and practice them in small, rapid cycles. In Eli Review, we can track engagement for both writers and readers in these exercises to see which feedback is taken up and used to plan and carry out revision.