Course evaluations can help you and your students! (see samples below)

Please consider offering students in your courses an opportunity to comment on the course. You can use the results of these evaluations to help your students understand the variety of  of ways their peers experience the course, as well as helping them understand why you make the choices you do in the classroom.

To help students understand what kinds of feedback are most useful, you might consider passing out this handout when you pass out course evaluations.

The LTC Student Fellows developed a list of possible questions to choose from for your evaluations. Student Fellows can also come to your class to conduct a focus group with your students as a way of soliciting feedback.

Here are some suggestions about conducting a mid-course evaluation:

  • Provide enough time during class (10 minutes or more at the beginning of class) to complete the evaluation. Don’t assign it as homework or hand it to students on their way out the door. Remind the students to bring a device if you are doing the evaluation electronically through Moodle or Google Docs.
  • Provide questions for students to respond, not a blank sheet of paper.
  • Summarize the results of the midterm evaluations for the class as soon as possible.
    • Students benefit from a brief summary of the responses and an explanation of how their feedback might lead to making changes in the second half of a course.
    • Often, student responses will be contradictory (“The math is too hard” and “The math is too easy”). It’s helpful for students to find out that not everyone is responding to the course in the same way.
    • Explain what changes, if any, you plan to make in the class. Then implement those changes.
    • Students also respect an instructor’s explanation of why the course content or style is NOT going to change.
  • You can choose whether to ask for anonymous feedback or to see the students’ names. Just be clear which you are asking for! Inviting a student observer to lead a focus group can be a great way to collect anonymous feedback.

An easy set of questions that works well is:

  • What’s going well for you in this course? What could be going better? What could you be doing to make it go better?
  • What do you think [professor’s name] should do differently?
  • What do you think you and the other students should do differently?

Students also respond well to specific questions, such as

  • How much time do you spend doing the reading/problem sets/daily homework exercises for this course?
  • What are additional resources you have used to help your learning in this course (e.g. visiting the professor’s office hours, attending prefect sessions, meeting with a writing consultant, making an appointment with a reference & instruction librarian, etc.)?

These specific questions can help you open conversations with students about how they are engaging with the course and how it compares to your expectations for engagement.  It is a good idea to ask students to begin by reflecting on their part in making the course work for them; asking this first should lead to better and more helpful comments in the remainder of the evaluation!

Midterm Course Evaluations

The LTC has compiled the following examples of course evaluation forms for you to use or adapt. Unless otherwise noted, all evaluations have come from Carleton faculty. You can choose whether to ask for feedback near midterm or a little earlier, when it is easier to make changes.

End-of-Term Course Evaluations