You’ve received your Course Evaluations. Now what?
As a part of the practice of continuous improvement and to center equity for students, it’s important to consider ways to evaluate and implement the feedback you’ve received. Below are some resources and recommendations to help guide you in the process of implementing course evaluation feedback.
Explorance, a firm that helps facilitate course evaluations for hundreds of universities, outlines some key steps that can be taken after receiving course evaluations:
Before you dive into analyzing the student feedback do a self-evaluation. Look at the questions that were asked in the assessment and rate how you think you performed in your classes. Performing this exercise will give you a good point of reference when analyzing the student data. It also provides you with two different perspectives, which you can use at later stage for comparison purposes.
2. Look at strengths & weaknesses:
It is good to review both the strengths and weaknesses in the feedback to get a comprehensive view of your performance. However, pay attention to any weaknesses that are highlighted to seek out possible areas for improvement. Do not focus on the extreme results (positive or negative), but instead look at the average to get a balanced view of your course and teaching effectiveness. It’s a good idea to compare the student feedback to your own self-evaluation to identify any gaps or differences in perception.
3. Identify areas for improvement:
Once you’ve analyzed both the numerical data and the comments, look for trends or themes in the data. Does the feedback show that a particular teaching approach has not been effective? Do the results indicate that certain materials do not work for the student population? Are there indications that the needs of different learning styles in your class are not met? Group all of these items together to classify and prioritize them as your areas for improvement.
4. Professional development:
Now that you’ve reflected on the results and prioritized your areas for improvement, it’s time to implement the changes. Any feedback that indicates a need for an alteration in your teaching style can be implemented through various forms of professional development. Some ways to seek further development are through training, mentoring, workshops, conferences, seminars, books, tutorials, etc.
5, Curriculum changes:
Feedback gathered on the topics covered in your class, or on the materials utilized, can form the basis for your curriculum changes. Are there trends in the data that show that certain topics presented do not resonate with students? Are there indications that students require more concrete, real-world examples in your classes? If you’re not able to implement all the changes necessary at once, pick a few changes and create an action plan.
6. Share the results:
Now that you’ve analyzed the results and have decided to implement some changes, it’s time to communicate the results to your students. This is an important step in the feedback process. Let your students know that you reviewed their feedback and how you’re going to address their concerns. At this point, highlight any curriculum changes or changes you will be making to your teaching approach. Sharing the results with your students will build trust and also gain more support and engagement in the feedback process.