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Feedback Frequency - Page 2

post #31 of 34
So, just for the fun of it, let’s talk about REINFORCEMENT. If John Mason wants to give his students dog biscuits for successful actions and John Cole wants to give compliments to his students for successful actions, we are then talking about REINFORCEMENT not feedback. “Great job”, “Looking good” would be classified as reinforcement; “Hands”, “Use both skis” would be classified as feedback.

Let’s look at the distinction between feedback and reinforcement. Although sometimes thought of as feedback, which is informational, reinforcement is the use of rewards and punishments that will work to either encourage a certain action or discourage it in the future. It is either positive or negative. A negative approach focuses on punishing undesirable actions and should lead to a decrease of these actions in the future. The positive approach focuses on rewarding appropriate actions, which would increase the likelihood of this action happening again. So, a smile, a thumbs up, a compliment, a dog biscuit, a piece of candy; anything that reinforces a particular action would be categorized as REINFORCEMENT. Once again, it all works and it all is helpful in our teaching. It’s just nice to know when we are doing what!
post #32 of 34
Originally Posted by John Mason
Imagine a bar graph and the goal is to get all the bars up to the top. Each bar represents some aspect of skiing. Different people are going to have different things going on in their skiing. Select the lowest bar out of the set and focus on improving that. .
I have also seen this method touted, by Ben Hogan, as the way to develop a good golf swing. Practice one thing and one thing only for a session or two, then move to the next thing, repeat... As a result it may take a while for any one particular aspect of your swing to reach a "expert" level but the whole swing progresses in harmony.

I found in taking Ski instruction the same routine naturally appeared. Each lesson focused on replacing one inhibiting movement with an enabling movement, which would lead to the next lesson replacing something else, cycling through the fundamentals harmoniously.
post #33 of 34

Joan - A Few thoughts

Joan – I read your paper and I am quite impressed. I jotted down just a few notes to throw out to the group and see what happens.

1. Aside from teaching, feedback is the most under learned skill.

2. Intrinsic feedback is fairly limited with lower level skiers since they lack the skills yet to isolate and understand.

3. Simple, concise, and positive comments.

4. Group feedback is confusing and individual feedback in a group can be confrontational.

5. Affirm the person as much as the performance.

Again, just a few thoughts that popped into my mind as I read the paper and it is a thoughtful and concise paper!

Thanks for the your time.
post #34 of 34
Thanks, John.

Although you are from Ohio, I remember doing presentations at Paoli Peaks in Indiana when Jim Baker was the SS Director. We had a great time!! Jim invited me to Paoli Peaks two times!! Anyone know where Jim is today??

I also remember my first paper on Feedback, “Whatever Happened to Individual Corrections?” Anyone remember that one?? And, once again, my timing was right and the need for information on Feedback was recognized by the folks in the ski business. Both papers have been received well.

Your notes for the group are interesting. Let me get the ball rolling with a few comments:

I agree with you completely on #1. Accurate, meaningful feedback requires in-depth knowledge of whatever subject matter you are working with.

#2. Intrinsic feedback with lower levels needs the help of the instructor to assist the student in learning how to read the feedback s/he is receiving.

#3. Would like you to add: meaningful and accurate.

#4. I agree that Group feedback can be confusing, and Individual feedback can also be embarrassing if given ‘in front’ of the group or not given with lots of consideration for the person’s feelings, ego, etc.…

#5. Agree, agree, agree!! Affirm the person as much as the performance.

Carry on...
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