I am confused about the word feedback. Because I saw one website My feedback means the feedback I got from others.

But when I saw this website title 3 Ways of Getting Student Feedback to Improve Your Teaching, the student feedback means student is the person who gives feedback.

So which of these four are correct? What are their meaning if any of them are correct?

  1. learner feedback
  2. learner's feedback
  3. tutor feedback
  4. tutor's feedback

Or should I use feedback for learner or feedback from learner? Because these are more clear? Thanks

  • 1
    For the example you quote, the original: student feedback. From the context, it's virtually certain to mean that it's the students who are giving you feedback. Attributive nouns are notoriously slippery when it comes to grasping what they refer to. You have to work out what their precise meaning is from the context (or complain to the author if it's genuinely ambiguous). Also, 'feedback' may well be a picture- or picture-like noun: my photograph (meaning?) – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 '16 at 23:16
  • @EdwinAshworth thanks, so if I want to use one phrase, I'd better use feedback for learner or feedback from learner instead of learner feedback and learner's feedback, right? – Hongbo Miao Feb 10 '16 at 23:21
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    The appositive usage ('learner feedback') would sound more idiomatic (usual) if the context disambiguated, but clarity is more important than minor style concerns. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 '16 at 23:29
  • You can produce feedback or receive feedback. Generally you can tell what the "direction" is from the context. – Hot Licks Feb 11 '16 at 2:14

The word feedback comes from the act of feeding data of some kind into something that can process it and getting data back in return. The return data is called feedback. The data can be of almost any kind. Behavioral data, which is most likely the original use for the word, is a type of data that can be feedback for example.

Learner Feedback or Learner's Feedback (they both mean the same thing, feedback of the learner) is feedback from the student towards someone or something that is not a student.

Tutor Feedback or Tutor's Feedback is feedback from the tutor towards someone or something that is not a tutor. From a tutor to an employer or from a tutor to a student.

Tutor or learner is an adjective, modifying feedback which is the noun. You could just say "The student gave me some feedback." or "I just received some student feedback..."

Feedback for learner is feedback for the learner, essentially Tutor Feedback.
Feedback from learner is feedback from the learner, essentially Student/Learner Feedback.

The apostrophe 'S' is not really necessary. The phrase itself is a noun. In American English it's most common to hear the phrases Tutor Feedback and Student Feedback.

| improve this answer | |
  • thanks, but what does my feedback means?... – Hongbo Miao Feb 10 '16 at 23:32
  • Feedback from you. My is an adjective modifying the noun feedback. – user156962 Feb 10 '16 at 23:34
  • Here is an example showing that 'tutor feedback' is actually used in at least one other way, 'feedback about tutors': Digital Unite_tutor feedback 'Tutor Feedback ... Here are just some of the comments we've received from people who have used our tutors:...'. Answers should be supported by evidence/s. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 '16 at 23:35
  • I would consider that as insiders lingo and not applicable elsewhere but yes, that is also a way to use Tutor Feedback. Primarily it is used the way the examples I provided use it. – user156962 Feb 10 '16 at 23:38
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    The problem that (I think) the OP is raising stems from the internet-colloquial sense of "my feedback," which a website may use to designate feedback accrued by the user. This flies in the teeth of the more conventional usage described in the answer. Thus I might say, "My feedback from the sage @EdwinAshworth was a -1 and a loud virtual raspberry." Ah, the vagaries of English when it gets into the hands of users! – Rob_Ster Feb 10 '16 at 23:56

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