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Getting Feedback on Your Teaching

At the mid-point in the semester, you may be taking stock of how your courses are going. Getting feedback on your teaching may take the form of gathering student perceptions of your teaching, or it may take the form of assessing your students’ learning. To get feedback on student perceptions of your teaching, you might administer a mid-semester evaluation. An open-ended mid-semester evaluation form might ask students: What’s working well for you in this course? What could be improved?

But you might also get feedback on your teaching by informally assessing your students’ learning. Below are some ideas for doing so during throughout the semester:

  • Administer a “one-minute paper” at the end of a class. Ask your students to write a response to a specific question, describe the most important idea they learned in that class, or identify a question that remains unanswered.
  • At the end of class, ask students to identify the “muddiest point” from a lecture or discussion.
  • Ask students to write a short definition of a key term at the beginning and end of a class.
  • Instruct students to write a short list of pros and cons, costs or benefits, or advantages or disadvantages for making a particular choice or decision.
  • Assign a “one-sentence summary” of a particular argument or concept at the end of class.
  • Ask students to connect general principles and specific examples, or underlying concepts and specific problems, from a short list.

We suggest you collect, quickly scan, and respond to your students’ feedback in the next class. You may also gather feedback on your students’ learning by doing the following:

  • Periodically schedule meetings with your AIs to clarify your grading criteria, generate grading strategies, and discuss your students’ progress.
  • At any point in the semester, schedule an instructional consultation or teaching observation with a consultant from the McGraw Center. The observation allows you to examine and improve how you engage your students intellectually. Email us at: mcgraw@princeton.edu or call 609-258-2575.
  • Keep a teaching log and periodically assess your own efforts: what concepts or ideas did students struggle with in a particular class? How did you assist them?

References:

Angelo, Thomas A. and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.