peer tutoring, for free.
Free SAT® Prep, as part of a research study.
SAT® Bootcamps
Free SAT® Prep, as part of a research study.
A global network of volunteers.
Explore Tutors
A global network of volunteers.



The Importance of Feedback

By Ari H on February 26, 2023

Blog image
Consider this: you and your friends are going out to dinner. You all have differing opinions, and decide to settle the debate by looking at customer reviews online. One friend suggests an Italian place with great service, but sub-par food. Another found a Thai restaurant with a nice ambiance, but slow service. In a situation like this, you can see how influential feedback can be in how you make decisions.

If we were to consider this from the restaurants’ perspectives, we’d see that they also consider feedback. To boost service reviews, they may implement new protocols for customer service or training for customer interaction. Chefs may try new recipes or owners may find new ingredients to diversify and improve their menus. From this perspective, we can again see how feedback influences the quality of goods and services you use every day.

Here at Schoolhouse, we have a similar system in place. After each tutoring session, learners are encouraged to give feedback to their tutors, and vice versa. We also have an extensive peer review process for sessions and certifications. We value feedback as yet another learning opportunity on the website.

Though there are many opportunities for feedback to be given, the quality of that feedback varies. It can be encouraging for a tutor to get a “Thanks!” or a learner to see a “Good job!”, but specific feedback is the most impactful way of communicating needs, wants, and suggestions. In contrast, a paragraph of praise can be a nice way to let a tutor know how much they helped you, but a rambling of recognition can be excessive or unnecessary.

In the interest of professionalism, similar guidelines apply to tutors. Singing the praises of one learner while giving the other monosyllabic feedback could convey favoritism or a conflict of interest. Giving learners specific feedback from your session could make it easier for them to work independently or feel a sense of genuine improvement.

Moreover, both tutors and learners use feedback to gauge their abilities. For tutors, feedback can show us how to better structure our sessions for clarity, accessibility, and engagement. We also feature our feedback from learners on our profiles to show our contributions to the Schoolhouse community and distinguish ourselves with certain skills or attributes. Feedback from learners is one of the most valuable tools for becoming a better tutor.

For learners, feedback from tutors is an opportunity for them to gain further guidance beyond the session. Tutors can further encourage independent practice, suggest other concepts to review, or simply praise a learner’s engagement during the session. It can also show learners that their tutors are invested in their success and improvement. Tutor feedback is important in fostering a comfortable environment and secure relationships with learners.

On both sides of the spectrum, feedback allows for improved performance, self-esteem, and reflection. But how do you make sure your feedback is the best it can be?

The 3 S’s of Good Feedback

To give good feedback, you should be specific, short, and simple.

Specific feedback is the most useful. If you had a great session, don’t be afraid to say so! Everyone enjoys getting praised. Just make sure you say why the session was good. The same goes for sessions that may be less helpful. The only way to improve your experience is to vocalize what you want and need. When people know exactly what you do or don’t like, they have a solid starting point to build upon. Here, honesty is the best policy.

Short feedback is digestible. It’s an easy read, and if done correctly, can be just as effective as a full-page evaluation. When giving feedback to tutors or learners, concision is key. Otherwise, you risk losing them in too much unnecessary detail.

Simple feedback is the culmination of our first 2 S’s. If you give direct and digestible feedback, you get your point across and make things less confusing for both parties involved. This ensures your feedback can be implemented in the best way possible.

All in all, feedback is a powerful tool in our lives and here at Schoolhouse. Next time you finish a session, let your tutors know how they helped and suggest some ways they might improve. Tutors, encourage learners to further pursue their goals and overcome challenges. With short, simple and specific feedback, we can work together to make the Schoolhouse community even better.

Thank you to Hafsah M for editing this article! peer tutoring, for free.


About UsPartnershipsRoadmapCareersDonate


Terms & ConditionsPrivacy PolicyTrust & SafetyPress