Gathering Midterm Student Feedback is valuable for identifying areas for instructional improvement. Many instructors have found that simple changes early on can help motivate students and enhance student learning. Students tend to like the process because it gives them a chance to voice opinions on issues that are most critical to them, and they appreciate the fact that the instructor has solicited their opinions.
There are several options for gathering midterm student feedback. The CRLT consultant will work with instructors to design a process that best meets their needs. In all cases, the process is confidential; the CRLT consultant will share student feedback only with the instructor.
Small Group Method: This is the most common approach CRLT takes to gathering midterm feedback. It involves the use of small group discussions among students to identify the strengths of the course and any changes that would assist their learning. The instructor arranges to have a CRLT consultant visit the class sometime early in the semester. The consultant arrives at the beginning of the class period and observes until there are approximately 25 minutes left. At that time, the instructor turns the class over to the consultant and leaves the room. The consultant explains the procedure and its purpose and then divides the class into groups of 4 or 5 students. Each group receives a sheet with the following questions:
1. What are the major strengths in this course?
2. What changes could be made in the course to assist you in learning?
Students are asked to discuss each of these questions in their groups. The groups then share their responses with the whole class, and the consultant clarifies and records responses.
Survey Methods: CRLT can also offer a variety of survey methods to gather student feedback, especially in large lectures. Surveys can be distributed to students for written responses in a short period during lecture, administered electronically in class using clickers or laptops, or sent to students electronically outside of class. This feedback option may be appealing to faculty who have only a brief period of class time to allocate to student feedback, as well as instructors who seek quantitative feedback.
Consultation on Feedback Gathered by the Instructor: For instructors who prefer to collect student feedback themselves, CRLT consultants can advise on a process that will generate the most useful feedback. To access sample templates click here.
Regardless of method, the consultant meets with the instructor to review student feedback and discuss possible responses. If the consultant observed the class, these observations will also be shared and discussed. Ideally, this debriefing session will take place before the class meets again.
Consultation services are available to faculty, post-docs and graduate students affiliated with the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor campus. If you have an urgent question or concern about a time-sensitive teaching matter, please call CRLT at 764-0505 or email (email@example.com).