Mid-Quarter Feedback

Why gather mid-quarter Feedback from students? 

Mid-quarter feedback (also referred to as mid-term evaluation) is an informal way of checking in with your students and getting a pulse on your class. Getting feedback from your students mid-quarter helps you identify any areas where students may be struggling with material and may need extra instructional support, as well as providing students an opportunity to self-reflect on their own learning and study practices. They can be used to monitor student learning processes and progress, to determine perceived effectiveness of certain activities, or even to get a feel for the classroom climate for learning (do students feel welcome and able to learn in the environment you have created). The data collected can be used to help you make adjustments to your sections and/or the course as a whole. 

Considerations and best practices 

Questions to ask:  

Keep your survey/feedback session short and focused on student learning. Yale University’s Poorvu Center recommends four basic questions as a starting point: 

  • What is working well for you in this class? What are you struggling with?  
  • What is helping you learn? What is not working?  
  • What could the instructor change to improve your learning experience in this class?  
  • What could you do differently to improve your learning experience in this class? 
Timing: 

Ask for feedback before the first major graded assignment to give students an opportunity to let you know where they might need extra preparation or support. 

Method: 

Choose a method for gathering feedback that is appropriate for the kind of information you are seeking: 

  • Informal: 
    • e.g., response to a one or two question prompt on a notecard in the last 5 minutes of class (con: lack of anonymity if you know your students’ handwriting) 
  • More formal: 
    • Online surveys can be quick and provide students with anonymity, but may provide you less depth and quality of feedback  
    • Small-group or one-on-one discussions provide rich detail, but are time consuming and may leave students feeling like they can’t be 100% honest, especially if the instructor or TA is leading the group 
Reporting: 
  • Share the results with your students 
  • Discuss possible responses or solutions to concerns identified with your students—make them a part of the process 
  • Using the data: 
    • Keep doing the things that are working 
    • Make a concrete and specific action plan to address the concerns identified 

Additional resources: