Midterm Feedback

Value

Many faculty members at Berea ask for anonymous student feedback about learning at midterm for several reasons:

  • End-of-course teaching evaluations are mandatory, high-stakes and administered at the institutional level. Midterm feedback options are:
    • Instructor-driven and tailored to a specific context,
    • Confidential and outside of the formal faculty evaluation process
    • Helpful to determine what, when and how students are learning what you deem most important
    • Valuable for making adjustments midstream if necessary,
    • Useful for communicating your goals for students’ learning or clarifying pedagogical choices.
  • They can also support student learning and encourage motivation, serving as a means
    • To engender student reflection on learning and on their own strategies and levels of effort
    • To signal to students that they play a critical role in the educational process
    • To communicate that their perspectives matter. Just asking and being responsive has that potential, even when you don’t make all adjustments requested.

Format

Many formats are available to you:

Follow Up

Regardless of what format you choose, it’s important to follow up after the feedback collection. In a conversation in the next class period, be sure to discuss:

  1. Key themes you have heard
  2. Any changes you would make as a result
  3. Clarifications about misunderstandings (of content or approach) or your rationale for particular instructional choices.

Various Options for Collecting Feedback

POSSIBLE ADVANTAGES

Possible Limitations

Paper survey

Quick, easy; possible to administer to all students in class

Students may be less forthcoming if they are not sure they can speak anonymously

Electronic survey

More anonymous than paper survey

May be more difficult to get a good response rate than with paper

Peer-to-Peer feedback

A faculty peer’s conversations with your students may provide greater insights about their learning and perceptions than a paper survey; can provide a rich opportunity for dialogue with a peer about teaching

More time consuming than administering a survey; may require some preparation and guidelines or training for partners

CTL Midterm Assessment process

A structured written and focus group protocol administered by an experienced consultant may provide greater insights about student learning and perceptions; entirely confidential; can open possibilities for consultation on teaching

More time consuming than administering a survey; less informal than peer-to-peer feedback

Contact

Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens

Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Director of Faculty Development
Associate Professor of Comparative Literature


Hutchins Library, 206
CPO 2157
Email: ortquistahrensl@berea.edu
Phone: 859-985-3670