The skill I’m trying to develop here is the ability to give detailed, meaningful feedback that will help a colleague improve their work (in this case) and will evaluate colleagues’ work (in the future) — as per Course Learning Goals 5&6. Professionals are often asked to give formal and lengthy feedback to and about others — academia isn’t alone in this. For me, this kind of detailed feedback shows up in many ways. Of course I evaluate others’ work in my formal teaching, but also when I write recommendation letters for people I mentor, when I give feedback about whether my superiors warrant merit or go up for reappointment, when I write peer reviews of journal articles and books submitted for publication, when I evaluate colleagues’ portfolios when they apply for tenure and promotion, when I evaluate colleagues’ syllabi for new course creations… all require detailed, constructive and evaluative feedback that will help the person identify their strengths, weaknesses, and ways I think they can improve. Sometimes I have others’ criteria I can or must use, and sometimes I have to come up with my own criteria based on what I think is the best way to do things.
For our course, the feedback on the informal presentations and brief proposals might be partly similar across people. But I suspect if you give it further thought, there are specific things that you admire or consider particularly effective techniques, and aspects of the presentations that that you think were less successful. By identifying concrete examples — however small they may seem — you are giving actionable items people can build from. In doing so, you’re also identifying what makes proposals and presentations more and less effective so you can use that information in the future.