Mid-course evaluations is a way of receiving feedback on a course and your teaching from students at the mid-point of a course. Typically, it is done through an anonymous survey (either paper-based or online). The purpose of a mid-course evaluation is to determine what is working well in your course and what changes you can make to help students succeed in your course.
What are mid-course evaluations?
Why do mid-course evaluations?
The main goal of the mid-term evaluation is get feedback on your course and teaching, and in doing so, the outcome should be specific changes or adjustments to teaching. While it may not be reasonable to expect major shifts in pedagogy or assessment, instructors can still make meaningful changes to their courses based on students' needs. Here are some of the benefits of doing mid-course evaluations:
- the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to students and that you value their feedback
- the opportunity to reflect on your own teaching by examining your strengths and areas for improvement as identified by students
- the opportunity to get feedback from students of different experiences and backgrounds in order to be as inclusive as possible
- the opportunity to explain your instructional choices to students
Another important reason to do mid-term evaluations is because students want to give you feedback. The 2019 Concordia Student Union Annual Undergraduate Survey Report showed that 84% of students surveyed wanted their instructors to implement mid-term evaluations.
What do mid-course evaluations look like?
Typically, mid-course evaluations are implemented using a survey with qualitative and/or quantitative questions. The kinds of questions you ask will depend on which specific areas the instructor would like feedback. Some broad areas might include:
- how challenging the content is
- the organization & pace of the lectures
- the course text & other readings
- the course Web site (i.e. Moodle)
- the usefulness & frequency of feedback they receive
Remember: whichever questions you choose to ask, be prepared to make changes or justify your strategies to students.
- Gathering Formative Feedback with Mid-Course Evaluations: A Guide for Faculty (Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation - Univeristy of Toronto)
- Early/Midterm Course Evaluation (Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research - Northeastern University)
- Mid-Term Course Evaluations (Teaching and Learning Support Service - University of Ottawa)
How to implement a mid-course survey
1. Determine what questions you want to ask and determine if you will implement a paper-based or online survey. An in-class paper-based will yield a high response rate but will require you to collate the data manualy. You can ask the CTL to create a survey link for your students through our mid-term evaluation portal (see the survey), or you can create your own survey in Moodle (using the Feedback Activity) and administer it anonymously at your convenience.
Ready-made templates are available in Moodle to use as a starting point for your Mid-Course Survey.
2. Collate & review the data. It's good practice to show students the results of the survey, so it's important to organize it in a way that will be easily digested. Based on the results, determine what changes you will make to the course.
3. Present the results to the class; tell them what changes you will make to the class, and explain why you will not make other particular changes. For example, if many students say there are too many readings, you may explain that each of the readings has been carefully selected to cover a critical aspect of the course and to cut any would diminish the rigour of the course.
4. Implement the changes as promised.