Mid Semester Course Adjustments
The sixth or seventh week of a semester long course is a good time to gather information from your students about their perceptions of what is working and what is not in your course. You may want to use the process of Mid Semester Evaluation that Diane Johnson facilitates. You can find more information about this process at:
While it may be ideal to have a trained facilitator conduct such an evaluation, you can do this your self. At the end of a class session, ask your students to write their responses anonymously to the following questions:
- What helps you learn in this course?
- What improvements would you like, and how would you suggest they be made?
If you are implementing a new pedagogy, you might modify the questions to specifically illicit student reactions to that innovation. For example:
- How is the Team Based Learning helping you learn in this course?
- What improvements in Team Based Learning process would you like, and how would you suggest they be made?
It is critically important that you report back to the students in your next class session what you have learned from their comments. Discuss with them what changes you plan to make based on their suggestions and why. Also discuss with them changes they suggested that you can’t or won’t implement and explain why.
This seemingly simple process allows you to “catch” impediments to student learning while there is still time to make adjustments in assignments and your teaching strategies. There is evidence that strongly suggests that using and responding to a mid semester evaluation improves end of the semester student evaluations of your teaching.
Written by: Judith Little, Assessment Coordinator, Humboldt State University
For additional information see: