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August 2020 TLC teaching tip: Comparison of oral and written feedback

Over the past few months we have explored several feedback approaches along with some of the benefits of using each. Regardless of the approach taken, providing clear, timely, and specific feedback should always be our main goal. When it comes to providing oral versus written feedback, how often do we stop and compare the two methods? The following table provides a summary of the advantages and disadvantages to  providing written and oral feedback. Take some time to reflect, can you think of any additional advantages and disadvantages? 

Oral feedback advantages:

Oral feedback disadvantages:

Written feedback advantages:

Written feedback disadvantages:

Dobbie, A., & Tysinger, J. W. (2005). Evidence-based Strategies That Help Office-based Teachers Give Effective Feedback. Family Medicine, 37(9), 617–619.

Elnicki, D. M., Layne, R. D., Ogden, P. E., & Morris, D. K. (1998). Oral versus written feedback in medical clinic. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 13(3), 155–158.

 Feedback, W. vs O. (2014). Department of Family & Social Medicine Faculty Development E-Newsletter.


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