MSF

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 

 

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Gathering Midterm Student Feedback is valuable for identifying areas for instructional improvement. Many instructors have found that simple changes early on can help motivate students and enhance student learning. Students tend to like the process because it gives them a chance to voice opinions on issues that are most critical to them, and they appreciate the fact that the instructor has solicited their opinions.

Small Group Method: This is the most common approach CRLT takes to gathering midterm feedback. It involves the use of small group discussions among students to identify the strengths of the course and any changes that would assist their learning. The instructor arranges to have a CRLT consultant visit the class sometime early in the semester. The consultant arrives at the beginning of the class period and observes until there are approximately 25 minutes left. At that time, the instructor turns the class over to the consultant and leaves the room. The consultant explains the procedure and its purpose and then divides the class into groups of 4 or 5 students. Each group receives a sheet with the following questions: Read more »

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Evaluation of teaching can have many purposes, including collecting feedback for teaching improvement, developing a portfolio for job applications, or gathering data as part of personnel decisions, such as reappointment or promotion and tenure. Most of the methods described below can be used for all of these functions. In general, efforts to collect information for improvement can be informal and focus on specific areas an individual instructor wishes to develop. Information for job applications involves presenting one’s best work and meeting the requirements outlined in job ads. However, when the purpose of evaluation is personnel decision making, it is important to use a comprehensive and systematic process. Because there are many dimensions to pedagogical work, it is best to use multiple measures involving multiple sources of data to evaluate the range of instructional activities, which can include the following: Read more »

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