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Mid-Module Evaluations step-by-step guide

We have already described serious problems with the current end-of-module evaluations and the benefits that mid-module evaluations could provide. This page describes how you can run your own mid-module evaluations:

1: Use an online polling system

For small cohorts you could hand out a paper survey form in class, but you would need to transcribe the results into a brief report. We therefore recommend that you use an online system to gather the data. Most students should be able to respond in-class using their phone, tablet or laptop, and if they can’t (no signal? no battery?) they could respond later.

The survey is anonymous and the questions gather no personal data, so you should be able to use a wide variety of online systems. Here are three options and some sample links:

  • iSurvey (University survey tool, free for unlimited responses) – example survey
  • TypeForm (commercial survey tool, free for up to 100 responses) – example survey
  • Meetoo (student response system) – a great choice if you already use it in your teaching.

2: The evaluation questions

We suggest that you ask four standard questions, one of which asks students to evaluate themselves. You could perhaps add a fifth question about some specific aspect of the module that you’d like feedback on.

Q1: What are the best features of this module? (free text answer)

Q2: How could this module be improved? (free text answer)

Q3: What is your overall rating of this module? (multiple choice)

  1. Outstanding
  2. Very Good
  3. Good
  4. Poor
  5. Very Poor

Q4: Which of these statements about this module do you agree with? (choose as many as apply)

  1. I am working hard to get a good grade
  2. I am interested in the topics covered so far
  3. I have developed my study skills and/or subject skills
  4. I am confident I will achieve the learning outcomes
  5. I am keeping up with my independent study
  6. I know I should be working harder

3: Closing the feedback loop

It is essential that you provide your students with a commentary on the survey results, ideally within a week of the survey. This could be as an email or document on Blackboard, or perhaps a Panopto video recorded in your office.

You shouldn’t provide the raw data, but might say something like “Around half of you thought that you needed more practice questions, so I’ll add a couple more each week.” or “A few of you thought you should be working harder, so if you are struggling with this course please come and see me – my office hours are on Blackboard.”

You may want to show a graph showing the students’ response to Q3 (overall rating):

Feedback graph

If suggestions for improvements are impractical, be honest and explain why: “Lots of you complained that the room was too hot on sunny days; I’m sorry, but its very difficult to change rooms mid-term – please remember to bring water to drink.”

Hopefully the data you get will help you think about how you can improve your module and the ways in which you teach it, and also understand a little more about your cohort and their attitude to study.