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How to Use Communication Fidelity

Programs:          ✅ Ascend          ⛔ Catalyze          ✅ Elevate

Communication Fidelity measures whether or not students believe that their feedback will be used to make improvements. Research shows that high communication fidelity is essential for meaningful growth in learning conditions. When communication fidelity stays below 80%, conditions tend to stay flat or improve very slowly.

Note: If your report shows that communication fidelity is below 80%, make it a priority to improve communication fidelity.

Strategies for Strong Communication Fidelity

When you introduce the survey:

  • Make sure your students understand why you’re asking for their feedback and what you’re doing in response. Many teachers find it helpful to use or adapt this lesson plan

  • Emphasize that you want to create a positive environment and that you need students’ help and partnership to figure out how to do that. In this video, Ashley Kannan explains how he partners with his students to interpret and act on feedback together.

Over time, it’s important to show students how the survey results are being used:

  • When students see their feedback is having an impact, they feel empowered and cared for (watch videos of Elevate and Ascend students). In contrast, students will become frustrated and disengaged if they can’t see how their feedback is being used. 

  • Debrief the results with students, ideally in a collaborative way: Debriefing recommendations

  • Take time to reflect on students’ feedback; identify the strategies that you’ll use to improve conditions (see Elevate and Ascend strategies); and be explicit with students about why you’re making those changes in response to their feedback. 

How is Communication Fidelity Measured?

The communication fidelity graphic shows the percentage of respondents who agree with the following statement:

  • Ascend/Elevate: “My instructor will try to use my answers to this survey to make class better for me.

  • Catalyze: “Our leaders will use my answers to this survey to make things better for me and for students.”

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