Tuesday Teaching Question

So the mid-term is nearly upon us, as we work our way through week 7 of the semester, and I’m thinking about putting out a survey for the students or gathering anonymous feedback or opening some other channel of communication, just like all the student-centered instructional advice says I ought to do, but, like always, I hesitate. Not out of fear or anything else, but because I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll get if I ask: they’d like their papers back faster, I’m sure; also, less reading; also more reading; also, no pop quizzes (they always seem to come on the one day the student has not read); also, more pop quizzes (to force more people to read); more time with each text; move faster through the material; and so on and so on.

The point is that I don’t seem to get helpful information back, when I give it, and most of the suggestions end up being canceled out (which I guess is potentially informative for the students (i.e., not everyone feels the same way about the class), but I also don’t see how finding such information out would be helpful and it comes at the cost of time when I’m already behind.

So, I guess today’s question is twofold: #1) do you seek feedback from your students mid-semester (or along the way) and if so, what questions do you find provide you with helpful information?

One thought on “Tuesday Teaching Question

  1. Sounds like it don’t matter what we ask at this point. The class will be divided between those who want to vent and those who want to learn. Still, it is important for us to reflect during the semester and not just at the end.

    Do I seek feedback? Not as often as I should.
    What questions have I asked? On a reading quiz I asked a “PhiloDavesque” bonus question, but it was not directly related to the reading. It went something like this: How does a college instructor encourage college students to read? Yeah, I kinda’ smuggled an assessment question into the quiz, and now that I’ve done it once, I may do it again. What the heck, at the end of the semester I will have quizzed and assessed, so why not mix it up?

    Sorry, I’m still workin’ my way through their answers. I’ll report back at a later date. If I have enough time I’ll Wordle it.

    Good question.

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