Around the semester midpoint it’s a good idea to solicit feedback from students about how the course is going.
- Provides an opportunity to show that you’re listening to student concerns.
- Provides an opportunity for you to refocus, if necessary.
Asking “how’s it going?” doesn’t usually get much concrete, actionable feedback, however. You’re more likely to get some focused answers if you ask focused questions. One approach is the start-stop-continue. Ask students to tell you:
Collect the responses and organize them into a table or spreadsheet, then take a few minutes during the next class to discuss the feedback with your students. During the discussion, point out:
The table below is an example of a start-stop-continue summary. You may find it useful to post your summary on your course website so students have a chance to review it. It’s important to capture the comments honestly so that students feel their voice is being heard, but it’s also practical to paraphrase so that students can see how often a comment on a particular issue occurs.
|7||More/slower illustration of how to use Excel/making sure people are caught up||7||Spending time going over homework (or all homework)||12||Going over HW in detail.|
|6||More examples of how to use in real life.||3||Sending so many e-mails||9||Posting comprehensive homework answers.|
|3||Giving extra practice problems.||2||Posting so many documents.||9||Posting notes about using Excel and other examples.|
|2||Giving more direction on semester assignments.||2||Homework online posting.||4||Discussion format.|
|2||More exercises during class.||2||Calling on same people.||4||Asking questions to make sure people are on track.|
|2||Going faster.||So many assignments.||3||Keeping us informed through SMGtools and e-mail.|
|2||Posting slides before class. (day before)||Scolding about not reading e-mail.||2||Being available, accessible/open door style.|
|Shorten PP slides (too much information on each)||Repeating explanations when there is no response to “Should I go over this again?”||2||PowerPoint slides available before class.|