Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Teaching Tip - Mid-Semester Feedback

As part of the review of instruction here at Lansing Community College, all sections are given IDEA surveys during the last quarter of the semester. The objective of these student evaluations is to give us information to inform our teaching, but by the time we hear this feedback, the students who gave it are long gone. 

The IDEA surveys are required, but we also have the opportunity to ask our current students what they need while there is still time to implement changes. The mid-point of the semester is a good time to regroup and ask students what’s going well and what needs improvement. 

The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University has some suggested questions for soliciting input mid-semester: 
  • What aspects of the course have been especially helpful in terms of your learning?
  • What aspects of the course could be improved?
    • What changes could the instructor make to improve the learning environment?
    • What changes could you make to improve your own learning/studying in this course? 
These questions could be answered during a five minute break in lecture or in a D2L survey. After you look over the results, hold a short debrief addressing any student concerns. Concentrate on one or two changes you can make, and try to keep a positive atmosphere. If students have made suggestions that you cannot (or choose not to) implement, I suggest addressing this with the group. Give clear explanations without being defensive … remember that you did ask them for feedback. Students will appreciate being heard, and you may have the chance to close the circle. 

If you need help setting up a D2L survey or would like to discuss mid-semester feedback, contact Meg Elias at or stop by the CTE, TLC Room 324.