Consider Conducting a Mid-Semester Course Evaluation

For many of us, the semester is almost half over. Now might be a good time to ask your students to provide you with a mid-semester course evaluation. (Brian has even suggested conducting your midterm evaluations publicly with GoogleDocs.)

We’ve written several posts about evaluations here at ProfHacker, and we’ve even written a few posts specifically about mid-semester course evaluations. For example, Billie has explained that “[b]y conducting mid-term teaching evaluations, you have the students’ perspective once they’ve experienced enough of the course to provide constructive feedback, but while there is still enough time in the course to make some substantive changes (if needed).” And Amy has written that “[s]uch evaluations can provide an opportunity to step back, take a deep breath, and reflect on how things are going.”

These evaluations don’t have to be extensive or complex. You could just ask your students to answer four simple questions:

  1. What’s going well?
  2. What needs improvement?
  3. What can the students do to improve the class?
  4. What can the instructor do to improve the class?

I’ve conducted mid-semester course evaluations a number of times and have always found the results to be quite helpful.

How about you? If you’ve tried mid-semester course evaluations, let us know how it went!

[Creative Commons-licensed flickr photo by Pink Sherbet Photography]

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