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In order to get feedback more quickly, I've seen some teachers run a quick (certainly no more than 5 minutes), entirely optional, anonymous survey for students at the end of each of each class, meeting, or session. The idea is to get feedback on what is working and what isn't on a per-week basis before mid-term or end-of-term evaluations. What are good questions or prompts to use on a survey like this?

For example, I am currently planning to ask something like:

Any feedback on the BLANK? (e.g., was it rewarding, challenging, about the right about, etc.)"

Where BLANK will be the readings, lecture, and discussion for the class session. I will also ask a general question like:

"Any other feedback or things you think I should know?"

  • +1 for the detailed question. Actually, the survey questions you propose already look good to me. – just-learning Apr 1 '14 at 22:02
  • 1
    5 minutes = quick? – chmullig Apr 3 '14 at 5:13
  • I've changed it "certainly no more than 5 minutes." Less is great! – Benjamin Mako Hill Apr 3 '14 at 22:45
  • I remember when they introduced university-wide standardised evaluation questionnaires. There's a whole science behind designing such things; an ad-hoc solution is probably bad, however reasonable it may seem to any non-expert (in designing questionnaires). – Raphael Jul 31 '14 at 15:03
6

I've always used the following in ALL of the classes I teach:

  1. What did you like most about quantitative basket weaving? [free text]
  2. What would you most like to see changed for quantitative basket weaving? [free text]
  3. How valuable do you feel your time has been in quantitative basket weaving? [1-10]
  4. Do you have any other comments about the module?

To these I will often add 3-5 other questions which I'm curious about. Sometimes it is to test the waters on new things I'm planning on trying with them or future classes.

The key is to keep it short. ~5 minutes is way too long. If you take more than 1-2 minutes of students' time, you are very unlikely to get many responses.

I usually ask these questions at mid-point and after the final class. However, if you want more frequent feedback, I'd suggest the "one minute paper" where you ask two simple questions (paper, electronically, whatever fits):

  1. What do you think is the most important thing you learned today (or this week)?
  2. What did you find the most difficult point to understand?

One minute papers are useful for constant course corrections while the earlier questions are more to find out how to change the design of the module next time (or next half).

4

The K12 definition of this is an "exit ticket," though it can be used effectively at any educational level.

Skim this article from Brown's Sheridan Teaching and Learning Center for ideas?

3
  • 3 things you liked the most in X.
  • 3 things you liked the least in X.
  • Other comments.

See my answer on How to improve myself as a lecturer?.

  • 4
    This is good, but generally I'd phrase the second question as "3 things that could be improved". – Dave Clarke Apr 3 '14 at 14:18
  • @DaveClarke From my experience phrase "that could be improved" is restrictive (it is to us to decide which things can be improved). – Piotr Migdal Apr 4 '14 at 12:10
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My class sessions each had a lecture and a period of time devoted to discussion. As a result, I ended up using a Google form with the the following four questions each followed by a text box:

  • Any feedback on the readings? (e.g., was it rewarding, challenging, about right, etc.)
  • Any feedback about the case and/or the other class discussion?
  • Any feedback on the lecture? (e.g., about the right length, too dense, etc)
  • Any other comments, ideas, questions, concerns, or reflections?

I sent a link to the survey every week after class and kept it online so that students could fill it whenever they liked. All answers were anonymous.

About half the class filled it out the first week and there was decreasing numbers who did so in subsequent weeks. Since I used feedback to make adjustments to the class over the quarter, this worked out just fine. I felt that the survey was successful enough that I plan to ask it again, in exactly this form, in my class this quarter.

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