I came across a really interesting Tomorrow’s professor email list article before the midterm this semester and decided to give it a shot. The article was on “Students Helping Students Provide Valuable Feedback on Course Evaluations“ and summarized the 2018 Professional Organizational Development (POD) Innovation Award Winning project, from the University of California-Merced. Before all that though, since midterm was upon us, I decided to try to gather some insights about the way the class was going in order to improve it before the end of the semester.
Pulling from multiple places on the internet, I’ve devised a midterm reflection two-page survey for the students to fill in. Below is the pdf file of this, but for my class I created a quiz embedded on Canvas (the Learning Management System used at the University of Kentucky) to facilitate the analysis of the results.
Now, notice that this particular file is adapted to the class from which I was seeking feedback. Pretty clearly, question 1 options have to be tailored to the different things you do in your classroom. With that being said, the feedback I’ve got from the students were very useful. You can check the curated feedback I’ve received and shared with my colleagues (including the laboratory instructors) by clicking here.
The end of the semester is imminent and all teachers out there are asking their students to fill some kind of Teaching Course Evaluations (TCEs). I’ve written about the TCEs before (see here) so I won’t go at length into why they are still useful and why so many people have misconceptions about them. Nonetheless, there is a way to assure good TCEs filling by our students and it is by asking other students to explain how to do it!
Indeed, in the recent Tomorrow’s professor email (see at the top) I discovered this amazing project from the University of California-Merced about using students to help other students provide valuable feedback on the TCEs. It didn’t take long to convince me to put together a rubric for my own course and show a three minutes video to my students in order to improve the feedback I’ll collect from my TCEs this semester. After talking to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in my department I even went further and developed a little handout for my fellow teachers (see below). This should enable anyone to incorporate this enhancing technique in their classroom with little efforts since the handout contains one page of instructions for teachers and two pages for students.
The original rubric and all the instructions are available here. I’ll leave you with the three minutes video I’ve made my students watch in class. I can’t wait to see the quality in their TCEs now!