One step towards improving teaching and learning is to gather feedback (from students or your peers) so that you can evaluate what is happening in your course(s); allowing you to identify elements that enhance learning as well as any that may be creating obstacles for your students. While end-of-semester SELT evaluations are one means of getting this information, SELT results are summative in nature and any changes you want to make as a result of SELT feedback must wait until the following course offering.
Many ANU teaching staff wish to gather feedback from their students in a more informal and timely fashion as a course is progressing. Mid-semester evaluations are a useful means for collecting such feedback.
Reasons for collecting mid-semester feedback
Mid-semester feedback allows you to:
- measure how things are going before the end of the semester
- reinforce with your students that you take their learning seriously
- make any necessary changes to teaching and learning
- demonstrate your commitment to the feedback process by discussing feedback outcomes with your current students
Mid-semester feedback forms
Feedback forms should be kept short and consist of open-ended questions that encourage students to focus on how things are going. In order to keep the feedback exercise meaningful, please only ask questions to which you are genuinely interested in hearing the student response. You are welcome to use any of the following templates or adapt them as you see fit:
How to administer a mid-semester feedback form
Allow a few minutes at the end of a lecture (before teaching Week 10 in a standard semester) to explain the reasons for collecting mid-semester feedback and for students to answer the questions. The feedback form can be printed or photocopied and distributed in class. Students can leave their responses in a box as they leave the room.
Timing of mid-semester feedback
Mid-semester feedback may be collected any time before teaching Week 10 in a standard ANU semester. You may consider collecting feedback just before the mid-semester break; which will allow you time to review and reflect on the ideas presented by your students.
Making use of the feedback
To gain maximum benefit from the feedback you collect;
- summarise the main points made
- consider students' suggestions for change or improvement
- identify which suggestions you can take on board and what you will do about them
- identify which ones you can't and why
- discuss the summarised results and your plans with your students