Mid-term Course Evaluations
Mid-term evaluations are a formative assessment tool that can be used to gather feedback on pedagogy and curriculum while the course is in progress. This feedback enables and empowers instructors to act quickly on received feedback and implement changes for continuous improvement. Making changes to the course and connecting the received feedback to these changes can increase student engagement and learning. Mid-term evaluations differ from end-of-term course evaluations which are summative in nature. Further, data collected from end-of-term course evaluations can only be used to improve future course offerings. Mid-term evaluation data can be used during the semester to improve the course in real time.
Mid-term evaluations are also beneficial as they establish an ongoing dialogue with students. This opens an opportunity for ongoing dialogue between instructor and student and provides an avenue for students to raise any concern. Instructors also benefit as the feedback they receive allow them to gauge student expectations, enhance teaching effectiveness, and improve end-of-term assessments.
Administering Mid-term Course Evaluations
If you are thinking of implementing mid-term evaluations, it is important to keep some best practices in mind. Below are some suggestions for conducting mid-term evaluations in your course.
Timing: When to conduct mid-term evaluations is dependent on the length of your course. It is recommended that you administer mid-term assessments half-way through the course cycle. This gives students enough time to understand the course and their relationship to it leading to more insightful feedback.
Questionnaire Design: Conducting a mid-term evaluation allows you to ask more reflective questions of your students. Be sure to ask questions where action can be taken on the collected feedback. Additionally, only ask questions you need to know the answers to. Mid-course evaluations should be short and to the point. Unnecessary or extraneous questions should not be included on the questionnaire. Some sample questions are listed below.
- What are the strengths of this course?
- Do you find the format of this class helpful to the way you learn?
- What approaches does the instructor use that help you learn?
- What changes could be made in the course to improve your learning?
- What changes could be made to the teaching approach that could improve your learning?
Communication: It is important to take time in class to explain the mid-term evaluation process to your students. Be sure to inform your students that their responses will remain anonymous and will only be used to improve the course and their learning. It is also useful to provide students with personal examples of how you used past student feedback made improvements to the course.
Administering Evaluations: Similar to end-of course evaluations, we recommend giving students time in class to complete their mid-term evaluation. Schedule 10 minutes at the beginning or end of class to complete the assessment.
Interpreting Results: Once mid-term evaluations are complete, be sure to set aside time to analyze and interpret the results. It is recommended to build in this time at the beginning of the semester.
Sharing Feedback: It is important to close the feedback loop by sharing and discussing the results of the mid-term evaluation with your students. This can be accomplished during class time where you inform students of how you are going to address their concerns. While you may not be able to address all concerns, highlight 2-3 areas where you will be adjusting the course or your pedagogy. Sharing the results with your students will increase their interest and engagement with the course evaluation process.
Implementing Changes: Obtaining mid-term feedback is key to identifying areas for teaching and course improvement. The goal of mid-term evaluations is always continuous improvement. The advantage of mid-term course evaluations lies in its flexibility. Receiving feedback before the course ends allows instructors to identify and address any gaps and make requisite changes before the course ends.
The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (IRA) does not mandate or manage mid-term course evaluations. IRA does, however, offer best practice advice, resources, and in some cases consultation for how to create, distribute, and manage a mid-term course evaluation. Mid-term evaluations can be administered in a variety of formats (e.g., electronic, paper and pencil, index cards, etc.). It is up to the discretion of the individual faculty member to determine the best way to administer these evaluations if they choose to employ them.
Below is a download for a Qualtrics mid-term course evaluation template. The template can be downloaded, uploaded to Qualtrics, and modified in order to meet the needs of our faculty. Faculty can also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions or would like to set up a meeting.
Mid-term Evaluation Example - Word Document
Download Qualtrics Template Here (Click) - Select download after clicking the link.