Gathering Feedback

Types of Student Feedback

Early Term Feedback: Formative feedback from students on teaching and courses on a regular basis is one of the ways to improve teaching (National Research Council, 2003). Early term feedback from students provides an opportunity to engage with student by collecting information about their progress within your course. Student evaluations of teaching are an important part of the feedback that lecturers receive. This feedback can be especially helpful when it is collected during the first term. We learn more about ourselves from this type of feedback such as;  if we are clear, accessible, respectful or timely. They may also be able to tell us if the activities we give them are well aligned with the ways we evaluate their learning. Responding to students’ comments by discussing them in class and making changes in our own teaching practice, can lead to increased motivation, better learning, and possibly improved end-of-semester student ratings(University of Illinois, 2018). The most useful information in obtained when students are asked about:

  • What difficulties they are experiencing in learning?
  • What they like and, what is helping them learn?
  • What they do not like, what is inhibiting their learning?
  • What changes they would like to see?

Midterm Feedback: Midterm feedback provides useful information on the progress of the class and what might be required to enhance the learning environment. Lewis(2001) suggests that midterm feedback provides a way to find out what students arthinking before the end-of-the-year evaluation. More importantly, lecturers have to be open to the feedback as well as be willing to respond to the information received. If you ask a question, be sure you can handle a negative as well as a positive response to that question. If not, do not ask it(Lewis, 2001).

Lecturers gather midterm feedback to:

  • make sure what they’re doing is connecting with what students are doing
  • support and enhance student learning and engagement in that semester’s course
  • assess their own instructional approach the first time teaching a course
  • discover the impact of instructional changes from the previous semester
  • improve their teaching
  • model reflective practice and demonstrate their care and commitment to students’ success
  • avoid surprises in their end-of-year course evaluations

End of Year/Course/Programme Feedback: End of semester, course, year, programmes feedback is a formal summative evaluation of the quality of teaching, and evaluation of programme outcomes.  The information gathered here will be useful in subject reviews, learning more about the overall student experience and their personal development(graduate attributes).  The purpose of the end of year student feedback is to also reflect on what worked well and what may be improved on in the course for future implementation.

Strategies for collecting Student Feedback on Teaching and Courses

Global Question Bank

The Student Feedback on Teaching and Courses (SFTC), an online tool, enables lecturers to obtain immediate feedback on students’ perceptions of their teaching and courses. You can select questions from the question bank to ‘custom-build’ a questionnaire for your specific discipline or programme. Customising questions allows lecturers to structure questions as needed, e.g. to identify possible reasons for a particular phenomenon such as why student performance remains below expectations despite focused intervention.

These questions are also available in the Learner Management System (Blackboard) under e-Learning Best Practice, Surveys, Student Feedback Survey Resources.

Workshops are offered on developing online surveys… learn more

Standardised Surveys

Standardised online surveys may be used to gather student feedback at the end of a module/course or programme.  Surveys are often used as a method for gathering student feedback, as it is easy to use, can produces rich data and may be standardised. However, it is important to consider that not all students’ experience may be the same, their understanding of the question might differ.  For this reason careful consideration should be be given to the purpose of the student feedback when deciding on a student feedback strategy. A few examples have been identified below.

Examples of Student Feedback Surveys

Class Experience Survey

The Class Experience Survey  is a useful tool to learn more about the student learning experience in your class. The feedback received may be used to  help improve the student experience.

Early Feedback Resources


Access the Online Class Experience Survey

Kaneb Centre for Teaching and Learning Early Semester Feedback

Midterm Feedback Resources

Using Midterm Feedback

You can also submit your own questions for inclusion in the question bank, please contact Xena Cupido: