Asking your students “How’s is going?” may not always result in meaningful feedback about your teaching. But the right combination of tools and strategies will get you information that you can use to refine your practices.
If you need a refresher on how to frame useful questions, or if you are new to soliciting feedback about your teaching, CTAL’s mid-course feedback page is the place to start. The STOP-START-CONTINUE method is simple, effective, and easy to replicate in year after year.
Pick a tool
UD has several tech tools that you can use to collect feedback from students:
- Google Forms: Create an online survey to collect student feedback using Google Forms. This is recommended if you’re collaborating with a co-teacher, TA, grad assistant, etc. to create surveys and collect feedback from students. Feedback collected is displayed in various formats, including as a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
- Poll Everywhere: Use this online polling platform to collect student feedback in a variety of situations, synchronously or asynchronously. This is a great option for collecting feedback that you’d like to present back to your students in real-time.
- Google Jamboard: If you prefer to take an interactive, free-form approach to collecting feedback, consider using a cloud-based whiteboard, such as Google Jamboard. All students can contribute their thoughts and feedback in the whiteboard space that you create.
For support using any of the feedback tools listed above, please visit IT-ATS staff in the Virtual Welcome Bar (M-F, 8:30-4:30, no appointment required).
Do some analysis
Now that you’ve collected student feedback, what do you do with it?
- Sort comments by theme. You don’t need to focus on the positive or negative nature of the comments, but instead look at what students are paying attention to. Do they have a lot to say about the course materials? About quizzes? Or perhaps about the pace? Student feedback can be highly variable, but if many of your students have focused on one aspect of the course, chances are there is something in that component that needs a refresh.
- Ground your response to student feedback in your teaching objectives, your student learning outcomes, and even your disciplinary norms and expectations. For example, if students are anxious or frustrated with oral presentations or public speaking components of your course and your program explicitly prepares students to become skilled communicators as part of your Program Educational Goals, you may need to add additional practice opportunities rather than reduce emphasis on these skills.
Learn more with and from your colleagues
Want to hear more about how feedback can improve your teaching? Join CTAL this Friday, March 18th for our roundtable: How’s your course going? The many ways of knowing.