Evaluation of Instruction
Midsemester: Obtaining Student Feedback
Around the semester midpoint it’s a good idea to solicit feedback from students about how the course is going.
- Provides an opportunity to show that you’re listening to student concerns.
- Provides an opportunity for you to refocus, if necessary.
The start-stop-continue is a simple feedback tool that will help you to see if your course is on track and provide the information you need to make adjustments.
Midsemester: Assessing Class Participation
Class participation is a component of the grade for many classes and students often like to get some feedback on their participation before the semester is over. One effective way of providing midsemester feedback is to ask students to assess their own participation, both in terms of frequency of participation and quality of the contribution to class learning. Ask students to grade themselves on each of these dimensions along with a short explanation of each and an overall grade. You can then respond back to them, indicating whether you agree and why.
If you did not have students do a self-assessment at midsemester you may still want to have them do one as an input to their final grades.
Most students are thoughtful about their self-assessments. A few may use the exercise as a marketing tool, giving themselves a much higher grade than their participation warrants, but about as many will undervalue their participation.
Assessing quality of instruction is an important part of improving courses and the teaching ability of instructors. One of the primary sources of feedback is the student-written evaluation. At Boston University, the end-of-semester written evaluation of each course is administered by individual departments or colleges. Instructors should consult with their chair or department administrator to learn about the procedures and view the evaluation forms.
- see forms used for student evaluation of faculty instruction
- resources on interpreting evaluation results
- IDEA Papers—short papers synthesizing research about faculty evaluation and development
- comprehensive site which links to different institutions’ assessment systems, research on student assessment, and web-based course evaluation