Suggestions for Interpreting And Responding To Student Feedback
- Before obtaining student feedback, let the students know what you intend to do as a result of their responses. Then, give students your plans for change after you have received and reflected on their feedback.
- Focus on feedback regarding your teaching activities, not on feedback regarding your personality.
- Initially, communicating to students the results of the data may not be easy, particularly if this has not been common practice.
- Put students' negative comments in perspective. Don't over generalize.
- Keep in mind that if you are new to teaching, you will probably be more sensitive to negative feedback. You might want a colleague to review the feedback with you for a more objective viewpoint.
- The more evidence that is collected, the more likely you will be able to see common themes, if there are any.
- Do not make major changes based on one source of feedback.
- View student feedback as one piece of information versus as a comprehensive assessment.
- Before making decisions based on feedback, complete a comprehensive
assessment, grouping feedback into categories such as
- those you can change in the current semester (i.e. decreasing the turn around time for assignments).
- those that must wait until the next time the course is offered (i.e. textbook).
- those that you can not or will not change for pedagogical, philosophical, or department/programmatic reasons (i.e. the number of assignments or the department final exam).
- Share your summaries with students so that they know they were taken seriously and their opinions were heard.
Huba, M.E, and J.E. Freed. Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: Shifting the Focus from Teaching to Learning. Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon, 2000. Print.
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