i thought this was an excellent talk at GDC last month. It’s about the importance of critique, and how to do it. I think there’s a lot that applies to how our CDT team handles/offers criticisms, as well as a lot about how teachers can approach feedback for their students (so, applicable to Instructional Designers and Media Developers).
If any of you watch it, I’d love to hear what you think!
This isn’t a “fun” talk so much as a “meaty” talk (lots of food for thought).
For me the main takeaways are:
– The purpose of critique is to introduce new perspective (and help people contextualize their work). Feedback helps us to recognize high quality works, and to internalize standards.
– You have 3 roles when offering criticisms during a project: help someone keep an open mind at the beginning, offer support during development, then help them reflect after it’s done.
– They present “EOTA” as a formal structure to any critique. This limits the types of statements allowed, for max effectiveness.
1[Experience] just observation statements – what you did.
2[Observation] When i did this, that happened.
3[Theories] why things happened.
4[Advice]. Based on everything said so far, here is what you should do.
This structure keeps others from rudely starting out with “what you should have done is…”
– at the end they describe a digital “PeerPresents System” used to record feedback during a project’s presentation. (presenter offers prep questions. comments are timestamped during, and prioritized/grouped after). They’re seeking classes to test it.
+ the 5 spoons exercise they describe might be boiled down into a good All Staff activity? The point of it is to get the ego out of the feedback phase, because you know nobody could have make anything good with such limited tools/time. An exercise in not taking criticism personally.
+ they explain a “plenary critique” approach (mixing students and instructor(s)), which I’d never heard of before. Curious if this is an established thing that is old news to the IDs, or a new thing we should look into.
++ Making them realize problem themselves is always better than telling them.
++ Frame critique as something that builds them up. First show shared ground, and note this is why you are saying this.
++ They have not worked with instructors who don’t use peer feedback in some way. Research shows it always improves class.
++ there are systems for asynchronous remote feedback. Students find them very burdensome(!). They prefer groups of 3 going around in person, so it is done in parallel (to save time).
++ Note the importance of a “process document” to cover decisions and failures during process. You can select feedback to integrate here (which forces them to consider it and use it). I have no idea what this is.