Getting Student Feedback
Many of us will face some sort of institutional evaluation by our students. At the University of Melbourne, for example this takes the form of a ‘Quality of Teaching’ (QOT) survey which is administered at the end of the semester. While the QOT or a similar survey will provide you with direct feedback of your teaching and therefore raise issues that you may wish to consider for next time, the summative nature means it comes too late to make adjustments, at least for this cohort of students.
At the University of Sydney, tutors can order formal student feedback forms from http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/FEEDBACK/orderSF.cfm
Getting student feedback much earlier on in the semester can be a useful way of finding out students’ perception of your teaching at a time where adjustments can be made. This can take the form of a short survey administered for example in week 5 or 6 of a 12 week semester; or you could ask the class to answer a few questions and write comments on a small sheet of paper at the close of a class. Bear in mind that students may feel more comfortable about providing feedback if the process ensures anonymity.
Some tutors, as the one in the video-clip includes getting feedback a part of every class. Whatever you decide to do there’s a couple of points to consider. Ramsden and Dodds (1989) suggest that you don’t actually use a survey or feedback forum unless you intend to act upon the results. So it’s important to select question items that are relevant to you and your students, and that are likely to provide you with useful information. When you have the findings, ensure that this gets communicated back to your group - it’s important that they hear a summary of any issues, but importantly your response to any of the issues raised.
Have a look at how this tutor approaches asking for feedback from students:
- Feedback (Accounting) (01:28)
Here are some resources which can be customised for your particular use:
- This Weekly Student Feedback Sheet PDF (size 9kb) can be used weekly or less frequently and the questions can be adapted to suit your needs.
- You may wish to choose just one or two questions from this extensive list – Reciprocal feedback questions PDF (size 58kb) and ask students for verbal or written feedback.