Browse this page for information about the purposes behind MCF, as well as related best practices and resources.
For more comprehensive information about collecting MCF, you can also download a longer Guide to Collecting Mid-Course Feedback at UBC.
To get started, instructors are welcome to download, adapt, and use the Mid-Course Feedback survey template in their courses. This could be printed, or the questions could be copied into an online survey tool.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mid-Course Feedback (MCF) is a chance for instructors to collect formative feedback from students about a course partway through its cycle, meant to spark dialogue between instructors and students. This is meant to be done in a spirit of collaboration between students and instructors, and instructors can use it to engage students as co-creators of a course. The UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) and Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) have partnered in an ongoing project aimed at encouraging instructors to collect MCF in their classes, and to identify professors who already do so in order to engage them more deeply in dialogue about the process.
Collecting MCF can provide substantial benefits to both instructors and students. Overall, it is a chance to reduce distance between instructors and students and to show students that they are in a supportive academic environment. It also shows students that they have some degree of flexibility and control in their learning experiences, which can increase student motivation to learn. Furthermore, MCF helps students to practice actively reflecting on the way that they learn, and instructors to practice actively reflecting on their teaching. Research suggests that students who participate in MCF are likely to take more standardized end of term evaluations more seriously.
Unlike generic end of term evaluations of teaching, MCF is not intended to be part of a formal evaluation process. It is also not an opportunity to complain about courses, rather to provide balanced, constructive feedback to instructors. The process does not need to be solely restricted to evaluating pedagogical practices; rather, it can also be used to evaluate aspects like course content and classroom environment, or to ask students to reflect on the ways in which they themselves are responsible for the success or failure of a course.
Instructors should solicit MCF sometime around weeks 5-7 of a course. This is early enough that instructors can still make changes to courses and so that there is a clear distinction between MCF and end of term evaluations; it is late enough that students can provide meaningful feedback. Instructors should set aside no more than 5-10 minutes of a class, which could be at the beginning, middle, or end, depending on instructor needs.
This is not intended as a top-down, prescriptive recipe. Instead, instructors are free to use whatever evaluation material, data collection methods and reporting structures to make use of feedback gathered. Some instructors may choose to evaluate particular aspects of a course; to collect feedback, some may use short answer questions, multiple choice questions, ‘minute papers’ in class, clicker questions, etc. Feedback could be collected in class, or a link to an online survey could be sent to students. In either case, the collection process should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Different question sets may be asked as appropriate to different courses/disciplines. In general, less is more: don’t ask more than 5 questions unless you really need to. It is useful to include questions that prompt students to think about how they can improve their own learning in the course, as well as their perspective on things their instructor is doing or could be doing.
Research has shown that MCF is most valuable to both instructors and students when there is a two way dialogue about things students bring to light. Share the results, including areas indicated as strengths and areas that need improvement, announcing changes that you intend to make while also providing rationale for teaching style, pedagogy and practicalities you do not intend to change.
See information on the Online Form Builder below, a tool which allows instructors to create surveys based on both sample questions and original questions.
Online Form Builder
CTLT has created an online Form Builder tool for ease in creating MCF surveys. It includes sample questions on a variety of topics and in a variety of formats from other institutions and from other instructors who have used the tool, and it also allows instructors to write their own questions. Questions can be easily dragged from a bank to create a short survey, which can then be exported as a pdf document for printing and distribution to a class. Questions from this tool could also be easily copied and pasted into an online survey tool for instructors who prefer to use an online platform. The tool can be accessed through a CWL login at formbuilder.ctlt.ubc.ca. Browse the tabs below for information more about this tool.