Getting Feedback from Students
After a couple of weeks, you will have some sense of how your students are doing and whether your approach is working, but don’t wait for the end-of-course student evaluations to confirm or contradict your own impressions. Use one or more formal or informal method to ‘take the pulse’ of the class. Informal discussions with several students, the "Choice" tool in Moodle, and/or a ‘suggestion/comment box’ are just a few examples of ways to learn what students think you are doing well and what you might consider changing. The purposes of this are to:
- proactively check-in with students about how well the course is going for them.
- make any mid-course revisions to teaching style, clarity of instructions, etc.
- help manage learner expectations or clarify the instructor’s expectations about the course and the instructor’s approach to teaching the course.
- authentically demonstrate to students that the instructor cares about their perspectives and learning experiences.
You can ask about how you are doing and what parts of the course are working or not working. Balance this with asking students to consider what changes they can make themselves to better support their learning.
- How to Get Better Feedback from Students, Maryellen Weimer, PhD in Faculty Focus, May 2013
- Obtaining Feedback from Students, from the Teaching Commons @ York University
- An example of a mid-point survey, from Boston University’s Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching