Midpoint Feedback

Course instructors are encouraged to gather feedback from their students. While this can be done throughout the term in a variety of ways, we recommend a more formal mid-semester feedback halfway through the course in order to assess how the students are feeling about their learning, the course materials, the instructional decisions, etc.

This allows you to make changes or adaptations to your routines and strategies to increase student success. Plus, midpoint feedback demonstrates to your students that you care about their learning and want them to succeed.

The CTL has prepared a survey that gathers student feedback about classroom climate, course content and functions, your teaching and assessment practices, and more.

If you would like to run the midpoint survey in your course, please follow these steps:

  1. Please review the survey (pdf) to ensure it will provide the feedback you are looking for.
  2. The survey runs through Qualtrics. If you have not used Qualtrics before, log in to your Qualtrics account using your CWL to initialize your account.
  3. Complete this survey request form. Submit the form again for additional courses or sections.

When the CTL receives your request, we will add the template survey to your Qualtrics account. Then:

  1. We’ll send you a confirmation email with instructions on how you can access your survey. Log in to ubc.qualtrics.com and locate the survey in your Projects folder. If you require assistance, please reach out to ctl.ubco@ubc.ca.
  2. When you have made the applicable changes to your survey, you can publish it and retrieve an anonymous link from the Distribution tab, which you can send to your students. For example, you could include the link in a Canvas announcement, page, or module.
  3. Please note that the survey will remain private to you and only you will have access to survey responses. The CTL will not have any access to your survey or responses.

The Midpoint Survey is adapted from the Fearless Teaching Framework  developed by the Teaching & Learning Transformation Center, University of Maryland.

During class, distribute index cards (available at the CTL) or slips of paper and invite your students to anonymously write:

  • one thing you should start doing that would be helpful to their learning
  • one thing you should stop doing because it does not contribute to their learning or the learning environment
  • one thing you should continue doing because it helps them learn

If your students are worried about their anonymity, consider leaving the room while they write their responses and them put in an envelope you’ve left at the front of the room. You can also ask a trusted colleague to transcribe the responses for you.

Getting the most out of your Midpoint Feedback

It’s important that you report back to your students after you gather midpoint feedback. Processing their responses and deciding how to respond takes time, though, so we recommend the following:

  1. Gather the feedback just before the midterm break, and after students have received some grades or feedback on their learning. Tell your students you’ll respond after the break.
  2. Take your time over the break to read the responses and decide how you’ll respond.
  3. If you’re anxious about the responses – sometimes students’ comments can be hurtful – meet with a trusted colleague and debrief your surveys together. You’re also welcome to meet with one of our staff members to go over your midpoint feedback with one of our educational consultants.
  4. When you see your students after the break,
    • tell them about one teaching practice you’ll continue to use in the course
    • tell them about one teaching practice you’ll start doing or a teaching practice you’ll modify to based on their feedback
    • if your students identified something that is not helpful for their learning, and you can stop doing it, then let them know you won’t do it anymore
    • if your students ask you stop doing something but it’s beyond your control or does not make sense to stop (“no more 8 am classes!”) or it’s a necessary part of your course (“no more homework!”), then let them know you heard them and provide some transparency or rationale about why this cannot be changed
    • ask one probing question to acquire additional information, clarity, or understanding
    • thank your students for taking the time to give you this feedback