Integrating Student Feedback During a Course

Students in the classroom asking questions, interacting with off-camera professors and each other for Fletcher’s Global Master’s of Arts Program marketing materials, July 2016. (Jake Belcher/Tufts University)

When students have an opportunity to provide honest feedback early in a course, there are benefits to both parties. Faculty have an opportunity to integrate constructive feedback into the course and strengthen their teaching for the current students. Students know that their feedback is valued and, if they see change based on that feedback, can become more invested in their learning. Below are some suggestions for how to effectively gather and use early and mid-term student feedback.

Getting Started

Maintaining anonymity

  • Assure students that honest feedback will not compromise their grades
  • You can ask students to NOT write their names on the page or suggest they provide their name if they want you to follow up with them personally

Focusing on specifics

  • Ask for 3 specific things and provide a numbered list with space for their responses
  • Ask what is working well that has helped them learn so far
  • Ask for specific suggestions to help them learn more effectively or wished were different

Sharing appreciation

  • Be sure to thank students for taking the time to provide honest and constructive feedback
  • The best show of appreciation is to share what you have learned, to integrate suggestions when possible

To provide insight into student learning and teaching effectiveness, consider using techniques such as the Minute Paper, and the Muddiest Point, described in Classroom Assessment Techniques.