How to Implement Mid-Course Feedback
Before conducting mid-course feedback (MCF), take some time to reflect on what specific goals you have for this process.
- Students’ perceptions of your expectations and objectives
- Student own expectations and desired outcomes
- Students’ perceptions of learning activities
- Impact of your teaching activities
We recommend you limit the focus to areas where you are willing to make a change during the term.
Preparing your MCF
Formulating good questions
These resources provide concrete suggestions for selecting and/or writing good questions:
- Creating good questions for mid-course evaluations (University of Toronto Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation)
- Sample questions for mid-course evaluations (University of Toronto Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation)
- Methods and sample questions (McGill University)
Try to include no more than 3-4 questions to make analysis manageable and to ensure you have the opportunity to respond to and/or act on feedback. A shorter MCF tool will also make it more likely your students will respond and not be overburdened by course surveys.
Feedback collection tools
Mid-course feedback can be conducted anonymously via Canvas or Qualtrics.
While you may already be familiar with Canvas and the Quiz tool used to create an anonymous survey, students may question whether the feedback they provide is truly anonymous since their personal information is already in the system. As such, if you use Canvas to collect feedback, be sure to select the option to Keep Submission Anonymous and discuss this with your students.
You may also want to collect feedback with another method other than a survey. A “One-Minute Paper” (in which you pose a question, and students have one minute to respond in writing) can be done on paper or online, using a tool such as Padlet or Qualtrics.
If you opt for an online survey, you may choose to dedicate some class time (in-person class time, or synchronous class time) to students for the evaluations; alternatively, you may ask students to respond to the questions outside of in-person/synchronous class time.
Explanations, timing, and guidance
It is helpful to explain the MCF process (and its goals) to your students as it may be unfamiliar to them and/or they may have had a poor experience of it in the past. Take the time to differentiate between MCF and the end-of-course evaluations of teaching.
Conduct the MCF part-way through the term; students should have had a chance to experience your teaching and you will want to time the process so you have time to make modifications based on student feedback.
You may also wish to provide some guidance to students on how to provide you with good feedback as this may not be a skill they have practice with. See “Giving Useful Feedback to Your Professors (PDF)” from the University of Texas for an excellent resource on how to help students provide helpful responses and how to create conditions for receiving good feedback.