Do the words “student course evaluations” make you flinch? As Mary Clementrecently suggested, the time to consider feedback from your students is before the end of the semester. To make your evaluations an opportunity as opposed to a threat, here are a few things to consider:
Your student course evaluations can provide useful data, and they do not serve you well if you do not read them closely. If you are nervous about taking a good, hard look, seek out a trusted colleague with whom you can compare notes. You will be surprised how much differently an objective set of eyes can interpret what students had to say about your course.
- What in the class so far has helped your learning the most?
- What in the class so far has hindered your learning?
- What suggestions do you have to improve the course or address concerns you might have?
Demonstrate that you are open to feedback by talking about some of the ways that you have responded to feedback in the past. This small step may help students feel comfortable enough to share other feedback (both positive and negative) earlier in the semester…when you have time to respond. Sharing your response with students can also include them in the process of evaluating whether your response was a workable solution.
Don’t try to change everything all at once. For one thing, it’s nearly impossible. Secondly, if you change everything, you won’t really know what it was that made the difference. After you’ve selected one or two items that might be worth adjusting or addressing, outline how you might incorporate that change. You might even consider making an appointment with a staff member at the Delphi Center to think through incorporating the small change. Appointments are confidential and you guide the focus of the conversation. Learn more here.
(Suggestions compiled from:http://chronicle.com/article/How-to-Read-a-Student/129553/,http://www.lehigh.edu/~infdli/FD-evaluations.htm,http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/lessons-learned-from-student-evaluations/40113)
What are some of the ways you collect feedback throughout the semester about your students’ learning? What changes have you made in response to your students’ feedback?
Making Sense of Student Evaluation Feedback
Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)
CATs are formative evaluation methods that serve two purposes: they can help you to assess the degree to which your students understand the course content and they can provide you with information about the effectiveness of your teaching methods.
Dr. Stephen Brookfield’s CIQ is a useful tool for gathering information about how students are experiencing their learning and your teaching. This site provides detailed information about the CIQ: what it is, advantages of using it, and instructions about how to administer, analyze, and respond to the data you obtain from it: http://stephenbrookfield.com/Dr._Stephen_D._Brookfield/Critical_Incident_Questionnaire.html