Jocelyn McWhirter, Religious Studies

The week after semester break is always a good time to assess how our courses are going so far. Many of us conduct midterm evaluations so that we can see what’s working for our students and what might need a mid-semester tweak. Here’s an easy-to-remember format: “stop; start; continue.” What can students/instructors stop doing? What are we not doing that we can start doing? What are we doing that we’d like to continue doing?

Here’s another useful format for surveying students: With regard to your learning, what’s going well? What’s going not-so-well? What can you do differently? What can I (the instructor) do differently? In 2011, Peter Frederick kindly shared this format with us. His “Mid-Course Feedback on Student Learning Form” is attached.

Both of these simple surveys can be given in class, using index cards. They take about 5 minutes to complete and usually solicit “actionable” information.

Here’s a final thought: feedback now is better than feedback later. Student learning (and grades) might improve, and IDEA survey results might improve as well!