Oct 18
Now's the Time: Midterm Feedback

It's that time of the term. For many courses, we're about half way done. If you haven't already done so, we want to encourage you to solicit feedback from your students.

While formal feedback at the end of the term is helpful, it's too late to make any changes in your teaching approach for your current group of learners.

That's why it is important to ask some questions while we still have an opportunity to adapt our plans to better meet the needs of our students.

This is the process I've tried:

  • I tell students in advance that I'll be asking for their feedback so they have some time to think about it
  • On my feedback form, I ask them to consider a range of things such as: pace of the course, my accessibility outside of class, range of teaching methods used in the class, quality of resources, helpfulness of my feedback, etc.
  • I then ask them to answer three questions: What should I continue doing? What should I consider doing? What should I stop doing?
  • I review the feedback after I received it with the students

This last piece is tough, but reporting back:  

  • Demonstrates to students that I have actually read their feedback.
  • Invigorates me to share what's working. 
  • Allows me to ask for clarification on their feedback or allows me to explain why I can't accommodate their feedback.
  • Makes students more open to my feedback as I model effective ways to respond to negative or constructive feedback. (Weimer, 2016)

Do you solicit midterm feedback from students? How do you do it? How do you regulate your response to positive and constructive feedback?  Please click on “Sign In" on the top right. Enter your RRC credentials and join the conversation!

Weimer, M. (2016, June 15). Benefits of Talking with Students about Mid-Course Evaluations. Retrieved from Faculty Focus by Magna Publications.


My process is very similar....

My process is very similar.  The focus though is also on the course itself so I ask about the tools provided (textbook, LEARN site, support materials) and the evaluations.  I also find that the students appear more uncomfortable when I do a review than I am.  Maybe it is because they did not expect it to be taken seriously.  The review also allows for more clarity and for those who were maybe uncomfortable with first providing feedback to add to the conversation.
Picture Placeholder: Maria Vincenten
  • Maria Vincenten
 on 10/18/2019 8:48 AM

Unfortunately I do not soli...

Unfortunately I do not solicit midterm feedback from students.  At the beginning of the course I let students know that they are more than welcome to email me with any questions or concerns related to the course content (Was there a part of the lecture and demonstration that they didn't understand that they would like me to think of teaching another way) throughout the whole term. I also let the students know that they will receive a course evaluation at the end of the term and that I read every word and take it to heart. Therefore be kind however also be honest. If they have an issue to please also provide some possible solutions that they feel may work. I let the new group of students know if I changed my lecture based on student feedback to let me know if it was helpful however they have no idea how I delivered the content the first time so that part is hard to evaluate.  That is my two sense on the topic!
Picture Placeholder: Anita Best
  • Anita Best
 on 10/18/2019 9:28 AM

Thanks Janine for writing a...

Thanks Janine for writing about this today, I was actually just contemplating yesterday and today what type of questions I should ask my students for mid-term feedback.  I like your "What should I continue doing? What should I consider doing? What should I stop doing?"  I think I will use that for sure.  I am thinking of sending it home with the students so they have time to think about it and hand it back on Monday.  I'll hold their tests for ransom so I get them back!  (Mwahaha)
Picture Placeholder: Aubrey S Doerksen
  • Aubrey S Doerksen
 on 10/18/2019 11:23 AM

I've used a four quadrant p...

I've used a four quadrant page for many years ---- Things you like/Things you don't like across the top, Things you'd like to see more of/Things you'd like to see less of below …. I suggest learners can respond considering the course, the program, the College, or anything else they would like to share. The feedback is often both informative and sometimes, humorous. Sometimes things can change, others...not so much. Being heard is as important as seeing changes... some practices are baked in, but the opportunity to bring up a differing point of view is important.
Picture Placeholder: Keith Penhall
  • Keith Penhall
 on 10/18/2019 11:40 AM

Thank you for this Faculty ...

Thank you for this Faculty Fridays post - it motivated me to prepare a survey in Learn for students to provide feedback.  I've asked students to assess how well they can do 10 tasks of the list of specific learning objectives I provided at the beginning of the term, and to answer four open ended questions.
Regarding the assessment of tasks - an example task is, "work within a group to collectively define roles and contribute productively to fulfill my roles," and students would indicate whether they can do it most of the time, sometimes, or rarely/not at all.
Regarding the open-ended questions - I ask students to tell me what they like about the course, what they dislike about the course, what content they want more practise with, and what would help them to better engage with the course.  (I think that's similar to the four-quadrant model suggested above?)
The survey results are anonymous, but I remind students that a human will read their responses (that's me)!
Picture Placeholder: January E Luczak
  • January E Luczak
 on 10/18/2019 12:45 PM

This week I will be attempt...

This week I will be attempting to use Survey Monkey to solicit my half-way feedback.  Previous years I've used the written / hard copy in class model, with the following sentence completion prompts....(thank you Janine, for these prompts!)
1. It helps my learning when you......
2. My learning is interrupted by ......
3. Please try.........

I will be using these same sentence completion prompts in Survey Monkey.

My two main motivators for trying Survey Monkey are (1) students can answer at a time that is convenient and (2) I don't have to use class time.  An additional consideration is the potential feeling of increased anonymity for students.

I'm excited to give it a try!
Picture Placeholder: Lindsay Mulholland
  • Lindsay Mulholland
 on 10/22/2019 12:37 PM