Feedback provides objective information about how well we did, what we accomplished or how our result compares to standards. Feedback also tells a story about the nature of learning and how we play along.
We get told a dreadful story when the feedback we receive says:
- You've now completed the fourth module
- Your score on this section is 88%
- You rank in the top 30% on this skill area
- You made (3) mistakes in this unit
We find out our personal experience through the content-laden process does not count. We realize we are pictured as redundant pawns in the instructional system. We discover we are not respected as self-directed learners with unique questions, passions or purposes. Our ambition is imagined to be limited to higher scores and faster completion of modules. Our curiosity and creativity is presumed to be deficient or absent.
We get told an enchanting story when the feedback we receive says:
- You've worked through all four obstacles to perceiving this challenge accurately
- You've proven you can discern the difference between these superficially similar things
- You changed strategies in order to avoid that dead end and get to this location on your own
- You found this new resource for your quest by changing your selective perception of the confusing evidence
We found out our experience through the process counts. We realized we are pictured as competent gamers who are making valuable decisions to move through the system. We discover we are respected as self-motivated learners. Our ambition is imagined to include: learning how to learn, to reformulate our questions and to revise search strategies.
When we learn all this from feedback, we become enchanted with possibilities. We anticipate how much we can learn on our own and how satisfying it will be. We are energized by the opportunities to get creative and adventurous. Our inquisitiveness is fired up by the seeming mysteries and contradictions in the terrain. We accept the story about how we learn.