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Informal mid-semester feedback

Informal mid-semester feedback has been routinely used in the School of Mathematics for several years and is now compulsory in all schools in the University.

The Course Organiser (CO) should arrange for informal feedback to be sought from the class on what is working well and what could be enhanced, in time for minor matters to be resolved for the current cohort.   It should normally be carried out in class to maximise response rates.   The CO should decide whether to have separate feedback exercises for lectures and for workshops.  The timing should normally be at an appropriate point between weeks 3 and 6 inclusive. The School does not formally collect or record this feedback; its main purpose is to enable enhancements to be made in time to benefit the current cohort. 

The forms below have been printed already and can be obtained from MTO so as to avoid the CO's having to make copies. 

The single most important thing about midsemester (and other feedback) is to be sure to report promptly to the class.

  • Explain what was fed back, including positive aspects (a student will not normally know what the feedback from others may have been). 
  • Tell the class what you are intending to do to address issues that have come to light. 
  • If issues cannot be changed immediately but may be changed for future years, explain the process. 
  • In cases where it is innappropriate or impossible to address an issue, explain why that is the case. 
  • Ask tutors to respond to feedback in a similar way. 

For an example of very comprensive feedback of this sort which has been praised by students, see the example here.

Our process for obtaining the feedback

  • Workshop feedback It is usually most effective to collect feedback on paper during a session, although online is acceptable provided it results in good response rates.   If groups of students are assigned to particular tutors, the responses for different tutors should be identified or kept separate so that tutors receive feedback from their particular students.  As CO you should review the feeback to individual tutors and if there are particular commendations or criticisms, discuss them with that tutor.  The tutors should see the particular feedback from their tutees either before or after the CO has reviewed it.  The following forms are available, but other forms or blank pieces of paper or a card can be used if preferred.   Workshop Feedback (for use where tutors teach a particular group of students),  Workshop Feedback - no group number (for use if there is only one tutor or if students are not assigned to a particular tutor)
  • Lecture feedback This is also normally best done on paper during a session.  A possible alternative is to use online feedback completed during the lecture on students' phones or tablets.   Suggested form:  Lecture Feedback.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that anonymity is not compromised, particularly for workshop feedback where groups are small and tutors may be nearby.
Last direct edit: 12:08, Monday 9 October 2017, by Toby Bailey. (Feedback? Please contact the page owners)

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