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Early or ongoing teacher-designed evaluation

The formal and standardized ITU course evaluation that takes place midterm every semester hardly offers precise or specific information to the teacher that wishes to take the temperature of his own teaching here and now in order to adjust small or perhaps bigger elements in the ongoing course. Teachers need context specific feedback for that purpose.
Here are 5 examples of methods that will help teachers get focused student responses to own specific questions. The evaluation forms should be introduced to students during the first two weeks and (with necessary variations) be repeated at regular intervals. The evaluation activities are best carried out during the last ten (or more) minutes of class. Before next class the teacher (or the TA) produces a summary. The feedback is discussed at the next class.

Feedback on specific session
Group instructional feedback technique
Feedback on constructive alignment
Delphi method
Case example from ITU with specific themes
Case example from ITU - Google survey template

Tools for evaluation

learnIT offers a selection of survey/feedback tools that can support the evaluation effectively.

General tips & tricks

  • Make sure to make the evaluation activities part of class or find other ways of stimulating volume in the response or students might not take the time to reply.
  • Make sure to discuss with the students which effect the collected data will have on the teaching.
  • Consider if the responses need to be connected to the specific students or if anonymity is better (or just enough).
  • Consider if you need answers that are based on multiple choice (easy to handle the data) or open ended questions (if you want to collect data based on parameters that you might not have defined).
  • If you use multiple choice consider using either scaled response possibilities ("not at all, a bit, very") or fixed alternatives (a) Java, b) C/C++/C# or c) Python.
  • Invite once in a while students to identify the questions that should be evaluated next time.
  • Ask questions about things that you are willing or considering to change.
  • Don't promise changes that you might not be able to deliver.