Knowing students’ experiences in learning course content helps instructors adjust courses to improve learning. We recommend gathering feedback at least twice in the semester.
Administer an early-semester feedback probe
Prepare to collect feedback in week four or five of the semester. At this early point, you have time to make adjustments to improve opportunities for learning. The College of IST’s page on Student Feedback offers sample questions and methods. The University’s Keep Teaching page on Gathering Student Feedback provides descriptions of a wide range of feedback gathering techniques, including directions for importing ready-made, editable, feedback surveys into your Canvas course.
Also, if you have an assigned classroom assistant (Teaching Assistant, Instructional Assistant, or Learning Assistant), ask students to provide feedback on the assistant’s performance. You will receive an email prompt to do so, along with a link to the College’s performance evaluation survey.
Encourage students to complete end-of-semester course evaluations
At the end of the semester, encourage your students to complete the University’s Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness form, or SRTE, as well as the end-of-semester performance evaluation survey that will be sent to you by email for any classroom assistants who are assigned to your course. Prompt students repeatedly to complete these rating forms.
To encourage responses:
- Send reminders through Canvas class announcements.
- Let students know that you take feedback seriously.
- Ask students to complete evaluations during the last five minutes of class.
Adopt best practices in gathering and responding to feedback
Leave the room if you ask students to respond to surveys in the classroom; you should not be present when students complete a feedback survey.
Assign your classroom assistant (Teaching Assistant, Instructional Assistant, or Learning Assistant) to assist with summarizing any early-semester feedback.
Discuss feedback with students, explaining what you have decided to accommodate and what you will not. There are many good pedagogical reasons for choosing not to accommodate students’ requests–just be sure to explain them to students, for the benefit of their learning.