Teacher-Made Course Evaluations
A good teacher-made evaluation can help students reflect on the semester. It can also provide you with valuable information for improving your course and teaching in the future. The beauty of a teacher-made evaluation is that it can reflect your own concerns and questions.
The simplest type of teacher-made evaluation is to hand out a note card to each student and have them write down the one thing that most helped them learn in your class and one thing that seemed to challenge their learning. Have them put the note cards in an envelope for you to look at later.
Another approach is to use a questionnaire that you’ve tailored to your particular class. You may ask about critiques, assignments, pacing, guest speakers, field trips, amount of homework, projects, quizzes/tests or any other aspect of your course.
Teacher-made evaluations are often most useful if you give students time to reflect on the questions. Handing them out the week before the last class will yield more thoughtful, and perhaps more meaningful, responses. The following week, devote some time to discussing their feedback. Discussion can bring to the surface the main point(s) for improvement. By actively pursuing your professional growth and being open to students' suggestions, you encourage students to strive for improvement as well.
Below are a few different approaches to asking for student feedback:
Students assess their own progress
- The outcomes for this course are: _____________________________________.
Check off the outcomes you've met, and comment on what you did during this course to meet them.
- What were your personal learning goals in this class? Did you meet them? Why or why not?
- What grade would you give yourself in this class? Why? What could have made it higher?
Students give feedback on your teaching
- Discussion is an important part of this course. I aim to facilitate discussion so that,
1) everyone participates,
2) discussion stays on topic, and
3) no one monopolizes the conversation.
- Please circle the things I am doing well (lectures, demos, critiques, facilitating discussions, etc.). If you think I could improve on one of the points listed, please give a concrete suggestion for how I might do that. Note: Students may be reluctant to give this kind of feedback if they perceive that it is not anonymous.
Students give feedback on the course and activities
- I am considering having students do three smaller projects instead of two large ones next semester. I think that going through the project process three times would be more helpful, even if it is not as in-depth. Which would you prefer? (Circle one)
A. Three smaller projects
B. Two large projects (like this semester)
Please explain your preference: _______________________________.
- We used three critique formats this semester. Which should I use more or less frequently next semester? (Circle one)
Small group critique: use more..........use the same amount..........use less
Gallery walk: use more..........use the same amount..........use less
Client role play: use more..........use the same amount..........use less
A few more ideas for designing and using teacher-made evaluations:
- Do not duplicate questions from Official AAU course evaluations.
- Avoid asking students what they liked or disliked. Instead ask students about the course content and their experience as learners.
- Only ask questions if you really want to hear the answer.