More and more professors are using midterm student evaluations, experts say, and more and more colleges are strongly urging their faculty to collect student feedback midway through their courses. (Medina, 2011, Chronicle of Higher Education).
Can you believe midterms are upon us? It's that time of the fall semester that brings tons of grading, Halloween decorations, and of course, midcourse reviews. Midcourse reviews provide feedback that can potentially assist you in fine-tuning your course while it is still underway. Sometimes called a formative evaluation, the midcourse review is an optional and informal supplement to the end-of-semester summative evaluations. Interest in these reviews is driven by a desire to see what’s working well in your class and what could be improved to aid student learning. The advantage of doing these at mid-term is that you are able to make adjustments to your course this semester.
In a midcourse review, a facilitator will ask your students in groups to discuss three questions:
- What is working well in the class (i.e., what is helping you learn)?
- What is not working well (i.e., what is hindering your learning)?
- What suggestions do you have for improvement?
By the end of the 20 minutes, we will have a composite list of student reactions to these issues. Then, at a mutually convenient time, the facilitator meets with you to confidentially discuss what the students said. In general you will get an accurate “barometer reading” on how the class is going.
Still on the fence? Check out this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
If you are interested in scheduling a midcourse review, get in touch now.
Photo Credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight cc