2023 Spring Mid-semester Feedback
Mid-semester feedback can help instructors improve their course(s) and address any issues or concerns that students may have. It allows for the identification of areas where students are struggling, and it can help instructors make adjustments in real-time to improve the overall learning experience.
Use the button below to request the Center for Faculty Excellence’s (CFE) assistance with planning, gathering, and/or processing your mid-semester feedback.
REQUEST CFE ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MID-SEMESTER FEEDBACK!
Mid-semester feedback is a process where instructors gather feedback from students on a course during the middle of the semester. This feedback typically covers a wide range of topics such as the course content, the teaching style, the course materials, and the overall effectiveness of the course. The feedback is collected through surveys, questionnaires, or meetings with students, and it is used to identify areas where the course can be improved and make adjustments accordingly. The mid-semester feedback process is designed to provide an opportunity for ongoing course evaluation and improvement, rather than waiting for end of the semester evaluations. It allows for addressing any issues or concerns that students may have in a timely manner, which can improve the overall learning experience for all students.
Instructors gather mid-semester feedback for a variety of reasons including to:
- Improve their course(s): Mid-semester feedback allows instructors to identify areas where students are struggling, and make adjustments in real-time to improve the overall learning experience.
- Address issues quickly: By collecting feedback mid-semester, instructors can address any issues or concerns that students may have in a timely manner, which can improve the overall learning experience for all students.
- Enhance student engagement: By providing an opportunity for students to give feedback on the course, it can increase their engagement in the course and make them feel more invested in the learning process.
- Improve communication: Mid-semester feedback provides an opportunity for instructors and students to communicate openly and honestly about the course, which can help to build trust and understanding.
Overall, collecting mid-semester feedback is an important tool for instructors to improve the overall effectiveness of the course and enhance the student learning experience.
Mid-semester feedback can include any or all of these data sources:
- instructor self-reflection
- classroom observation
- student focus group
- student survey
Colleagues at the CFE would be happy to meet with you to discuss any part of the process, including planning, question design, collection of student data, or if you have already collected input, debriefing and understanding your findings.
- The CFE can provide you with a reflection guide as well as help you process your self-reflection.
- The CFE can observe a class session paying special attention to areas with opportunities for growth. A follow-up meeting and/or a document discussing observations can be provided. These are meant to serve as a formative experience and are not evaluative in nature.
Student focus group
- The CFE can conduct a student focus group during class time. An initial meeting before the focus group will be conducted to ensure alignment of instructor goals with focus questions.
- The CFE can create in cooperation with you a Qualtrics survey that you can distribute during class time. Analysis of the results by CFE staff can be requested.
- Listen and review feedback carefully and critically: Review all the feedback received, paying attention to common themes and patterns. It’s important, though, to weigh student comments equally—just because only one student suggested a change or praised an aspect of your teaching doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t value their comment. Take the time to understand what students are saying, and try to see things from their perspective. Remember that simply because students suggest a change doesn’t mean that you need to make it! Additionally, it may be useful to reflect on the power dynamics inherent in all student evaluations, as students tend to favor white men in their evaluations and rate women and racial minority instructors less favorably, regardless of their grades in class, engagement, or expectations (Laube, Massoni, Sprague, & Ferber, 2007; Mengel, Sauermann, & Zölitz, 2019; Mitchell & Martin, 2018; Reid, 2010; Sleeter, 2017).
- Acknowledge feedback: Acknowledge the feedback received and thank students for taking the time to provide it. Let them know that their feedback is valued and that it will be used to improve the course.
- Develop an action plan: Based on the feedback received, develop a plan of action to address any issues or concerns. Identify specific actions that can be taken to improve the course, and set a timeline for implementing them.
- Share your action plan and reflections with students promptly: Communicate the action plan to the students, including what changes will be made and when they will be implemented. Let them know that their feedback has been taken into account and that changes will be made to improve the course.
- Follow-up: Follow-up with students to see if the changes that were made have had a positive impact. Seek feedback on the changes and continue to make adjustments as needed.
- Reflect: Reflect on the feedback received and use it as a learning opportunity to improve your teaching practice. Although evaluations focus on constructive criticism, it’s important to identify aspects of your classroom that are positive to ensure that you don’t change something that’s working for your students. Also, seize the opportunity to highlight what is working, as well as to clarify your rationale for using certain teaching strategies.
It is important to remember that feedback is a process, not an event, and that it should be an ongoing conversation between you and your students. It’s also important to be open to feedback, even if it’s difficult to hear, and to not be defensive but willing to make changes and improvements.
Sample Faculty Self-Reflection Questions | CBE—Life Sciences Education Vol. 11
Teaching Self-Reflection Guide | Penn State
Spotlight on Teaching and Learning: Mid-Semester Check-In | Center for Teaching & Learning UC Berkeley
Mid-Semester Feedback | Faculty Innovation Center | The University of Texas at Austin Center for Teaching and Learning
Taking Stock: Gathering Mid-Semester Student Feedback | University of Notre Dame
Mid-Semester Feedback: Examples from Brown | The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning
Soliciting and utilizing mid-semester feedback | Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
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