There are two main reasons why it is important to get feedback about the teaching and learning process from your students.
- It provides you with information about the degree to which your instruction is supporting students’ learning. The results can be used to improve the teaching and learning process.
- It creates an opportunity for students to contribute to their learning experience through sharing their perspective (this also can create a sense of connection with the instructor and the course as students see that their input is valued). Research indicates that when instructors conduct early course feedback, discuss it with students, and make selected changes, they can see improvements in their end-of-course evaluations (McGowan & Osguthorpe, 2011).
While you may ask students for feedback at any time, it is recommended that you at least get feedback at the midpoint of the course. Again, this allows you to make any needed adjustments in order to ensure you are meeting your desired learning goals for the students. There are multiple ways that instructors can gain early course feedback. They may choose anonymous qualitative feedback, anonymous quantitative feedback, or externally facilitated feedback. Below is an example of how to solicit anonymous qualitative feedback from your students
Anonymous Qualitative Feedback
One very simple way to get early course feedback is to ask students to respond to three simple prompts:
- Start (doing these things to help my learning),
- Stop (doing these things as they hinder my learning), and
- Continue (doing these things as they support my learning)
A more formal set of qualitative questions you might use is:
- Which aspects of the course are most helpful to you?
- Which aspects of the course are least helpful to you?
- What suggestions would you like to make to improve the course?
For more examples of qualitative questions used for feedback, visit UC Berkeley’s Center for Teaching & Learning website.