Midterm course survey results provide a rich set of data that can be used to make informed decisions about the remainder of the term. The Teaching Center has resources for classifying feedback into categories and decoding feedback that may be confusing. If results are inconclusive, conflicting, or confusing, gathering additional sources of data like peer review or classroom observations can help paint a more comprehensive picture of the classroom climate.
Because students’ perspectives are unique, faculty may want to explore additional opportunities to capture their feedback and increase engagement with the process. In most cases, faculty can request that surveys be re-opened with an extended deadline. Sharing the results with students and asking them to rank the topics in order of importance or having a class discussion can help identify common themes and suggestions for improvement. Quick feedback tools like Top Hat can also be used to gather additional feedback.
Instructors can schedule a meeting with a teaching consultant who can help you interpret your results and develop a course of action. Close the loop with students by sharing the results and discussing what can and cannot be changed and why. For formative feedback to be effective, it should be ongoing and timely so plan to follow up with students in a few weeks to see if things have improved.
Beyond student feedback
The Teaching Center offers several resources to support instructors in exploring various methods of formative assessment to improve their teaching.
Share your experience
Do you have examples of times when you’ve received little feedback or results were conflicting or confusing, what you did about it, and what you learned? Consider adding it to our faculty resource document.