The Value of Midterm Feedback

CRLT staff provide hundreds of Midterm Student Feedback sessions for U-M instructors every year. You can learn more about the process or request a consulation on this page. In this guest blog, LSA Associate Dean Phil Deloria discusses the value of these sessions even for very experienced teachers.

If you're teaching this term, I encourage you to contact CRLT soon to schedule a Midterm Student Feedback session for your course. I want to emphasize that these consultations are:

  • Wholly confidential, between yourself and the CRLT staff member only, with no communication to your department. They are meant only to inform your own teaching.  
  • Formative, not summative. They offer you an opportunity to improve upon a course while it is still underway.
  • Appreciated by students. Often, students experience the midterm evaluations as a sign that you are committed to hearing them and to thinking self-critically about your teaching (in the same way that we often ask our students to be self-critical about their experience with the material we are teaching them!).
  • Conducted efficiently and effectively. Having a midterm feedback session does not require giving up a significant amount of classroom time.
  • Consistently, year after year, the feature of the LSA Teaching Academy that receives the highest marks from new faculty for its usefulness in improving teaching.  

Dr. Deloria

It's not always easy to let someone else into your classroom, but the rewards are substantial. I have been teaching since 1994, and I think I do a pretty good job. But I have never failed to learn from a midterm evaluation. Indeed, many of our most distinguished teachers have already scheduled their feedback sessions for this fall. I urge you to do the same.

Philip J. Deloria
LSA Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of History and American Culture