As the semester comes to an end, many faculty members are anxious to read their students’ evaluations. As instructors, we can use student feedback in a variety of ways to improve our own teaching. We all know that giving our students timely feedback is important, but what about receiving timely feedback from our own students?
I recently ready a blog post by Jennifer Gonazales at Cult of Pedagogy about why instructors should seek their own student feedback instead of waiting for the end of the semester for course evaluations. There are many benefits to asking students to give feedback throughout the semester, including:
- Increasing student engagement by figuring out what types of activities students enjoy and adding more of these to your courses
- The ability to adjust instruction to meet students’ needs
- Self-preservation! As Jennifer writes, “Instead of waiting for the ‘official’ forms to be distributed to students, get ahead of the curve by asking for similar feedback early, while there’s still time to troubleshoot.”
Jennifer’s blog post has many great examples of questions to ask your students, how to actually implement this idea, and most importantly, how to act on the feedback you receive. You can read Jennifer’s post here: 5 Reasons You Should Seek Your OWN Student Feedback
For more strategies on using student feedback, this article on going above and beyond the typical student feedback requirements is a great read, as well: Feedback From Students Becomes a Campus Staple, but Some Go Further
While it’s too late to implement these strategies for the fall semester, it’s the perfect time to reflect on this semester’s teaching and look forward to a new year and a new semester! As you review this semester’s course evaluations, I challenge you to think about how you may be able to incorporate more opportunities for students to share their feedback throughout the next semester.