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Findings from a study on ‘Generation Y’ students' views and preferences about the provision of feedback during practice education

Caroline Hills, Tracy Levett-Jones, Helen Warren-Forward, Samuel Lapkin


Introduction: Feedback is central to learning for students whilst on practice education and has been identified by students as one aspect of quality placements. ‘Generation Y’  students have been reported as preferring praise in feedback and in occupational therapy, students classified as ‘Generation Y’ have been reported as having difficulty accepting critical feedback in practice education. This study aimed at seeking one group of ‘Generation Y’ students’ views and preferences in regards to quality feedback in practice education.

Method: After ethical approval, students from one occupational therapy program in an Australian university were invited to participate in a semi structured interview to explore their learning preferences in practice education regarding feedback.

Results: Twenty two student interviews were completed. After thematic analysis, 4 themes were generated, these included ‘feedback is important for student learning’, ‘student preferences on the provision of feedback’, ‘when to provide feedback’ and ‘the role of the team in providing feedback’.

Conclusion: Participants reported that feedback should be regular and consistent as it is important for insight into their level of proficiency. Immediate explicit feedback was highly valued when it identified areas for improvement, preferring this to praise, which is contrary to the purported preference of ‘Generation Y’ students. Participants also valued protected supervision time for feedback, feedback from the multidisciplinary team and an opportunity to self-evaluate prior to receiving feedback. Recommendations are made for methods and approaches to feedback which would be informative to practice educators and those that deliver preparatory courses for practice educators in universities.


Australia; Occupational Therapy; Feedback; Learning; Students; Universities

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