How Can I Use Frequent Student Feedback to Improve My Courses?
If you are only asking for feedback at the end of the semester, there’s not much you can do to improve the learning for your current students. That is why it’s important to get student feedback early in the semester - and multiple times throughout - to understand your students and meet their learning needs. We share the five times in the semester when getting student feedback is valuable and provides practical ways to obtain that information.
Understand Your Students and Meet Their Learning Needs
It’s the end of the semester, and you’ve just given out the course evaluations.
- You find that a significant portion of your class is dissatisfied with the course.
- Your students aren’t grasping the learning objectives, and they are struggling.
What’s wrong with this picture?
If you are only asking for feedback at the end of the semester, there’s not much you can do to improve the learning for your current students.
- It’s too late.
That is why it’s important to get student feedback early in the semester - and multiple times throughout - to understand your students and meet their learning needs.
In How Can I Use Frequent Student Feedback to Improve My Courses?, Mary Clement, Ed.D., shares the five times in the semester when getting student feedback is valuable and provides practical ways to obtain that information.
Learn grading and feedback techniques you can implement immediately, or with your next class, such as:
- Conduct a “Student Interest Inventory” early on, to learn about students’ subject-specific knowledge and how they like to learn
- Use ungraded “One-Minute Papers” to find out what your students feel they’d need to study if there was a test tomorrow
- Survey students after the first exam or paper to see how they prepared for it and to find out whether their grades matched their expectations
- Share feedback with students when you’re ready to implement changes based on their input
You’ll learn how to:
- Select optimal times to solicit student feedback
- Develop easy-to-use instruments for student feedback
- Ascertain the quality of student feedback
- Use student feedback to generate collegial discussions about teaching
- Make course improvements based on student feedback
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Mary C. Clement, Ed.D., is a professor and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Berry College, northwest of Atlanta, GA.
She teaches graduate courses in curriculum theory, instructional management, and supervision and undergraduate courses in foreign language methods.
She earned her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is the author of ten books and over 100 articles.
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