We encourage post-doctoral fellows to conduct mid-quarter evaluations. It allows instructors to check in with their students and adjust their pedagogy accordingly.
Sample Mid-Quarter Evaluation
- What about the lectures for this course has been especially useful to you thus far?
- What about the lectures for this course, if anything, could be improved? If you have suggestions on how the improvements could be carried out, please indicate those as well.
- One of the main learning goals for the Thinking Matters requirement is to learn how to ask rigorous questions and to answer them critically from multiple perspectives. To what extent have your course lectures helped you achieve this goal? (Poor...Excellent)
- Thus far, how would you rate the lectures for this course? (Poor...Excellent)
Small Group Evaluation (SGE)
The SGE is a service offered by the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL)
In an SGE, a trained evaluator comes to your class during the last 20 minutes and, after you have left, divides your students into small groups. Each group comes to a consensus on what is contributing to their learning in the class, what needs improvement, and (optional) what students themselves can do to improve the course. The evaluator summarizes these responses, seeking to make them as specific as possible and to resolve or clarify contradictions among groups. The results are presented to you later in a private consultation.
Benefits of the SGE are several. Because students actively discuss and debate their ideas, the process tends to focus student comments on high priority issues and helps distinguish these from outlier, or low consensus, comments. Instructors who have used the method find the resulting information to be unusually rich, specific, and readily translatable into productive course changes. The fact that you allocate class time for this purpose reinforces your genuine interest in student feedback.
Mid-quarter is also a good time to ask students to reflect on their own learning. Some fellows have students evaluate their participation so they can give them some formal feedback before the end of the quarter.