Module leaders may wish to gather informal feedback from students at the mid-module point. This feedback helps us to understand the student learning experience, and to address expectations, challenges, and actions while the module is still in running.
While changes are not always possible in response to student feedback, mid-point evaluations can suggest small modifications or easily implemented wins that can benefit students for the rest of the semester or be implemented for future iterations of the course. They are an opportunity for open communication between staff and students, strengthening the partnership and supporting the co-creation of learning.
Mid-module evaluations are usually administered by the module leader in weeks 4-7 of teaching. They are intended for the use of the module leader and/or teaching team and are not a formal requirement in 2022/23.
For year-long modules (aka ‘long, thin’ modules or part term code 3 modules) there is an option to undertake a more formal evaluation using the University’s module evaluation software Explorance Blue. This is being rolled out at school level according to local practice. For further information on this, please contact TheLeedsPartnership@leeds.ac.uk.
Mid-module evaluation methods
Evaluations at the mid-point can be undertaken in a variety of different ways. Methods include (but are not limited to):
- Informal discussion in class: Led by the module-leader, seminar tutor, or member of the teaching team. Use 2-3 prompts to invite feedback from students and discuss this.
- Start/ stop/ continue: This asks students to evaluate the module by asking them to reflect on what they would like added or included, what they feel is detracting from it, and what current activity they find beneficial. Software such as Mentimeter can be used to gather this feedback anonymously.
- An informal survey consisting of 2-3 prompts, completed in or out of class and designed by the module leader (see guidance below).
- A more formal survey, re-using the University’s standard module evaluation question set (see guidance below).
- Student-led discussion with facilitation from a colleague or student representative:
- The teaching team identifies 2-3 questions they wish to ask students and invites a colleague external to the course, or a student representative, to facilitate a 20-30 minute discussion using these questions.
- During this discussion the teaching team leaves the room/call. Students are divided into smaller groups and asked to share their perspectives, reporting back to the facilitator.
- The teaching team then meets with the facilitator who delivers the summarised feedback (McGill Teaching and Learning Services, ‘Mid-Course Evaluation’).
Mid-module evaluation questions
Using the University’s standard question set
If colleagues wish to undertake a more formal mid-point evaluation for non-year-long modules, an MS Teams mid-module evaluation template is available, containing the University’s standard question set. To use this:
- Follow the link to the template and select ‘duplicate’
- Select the three dots in the top-right corner of the page and navigate to ‘Settings’. Ensure that the ‘Record name’ box is un-ticked so that student responses are anonymous. Set start and end dates and a thank you message if preferred.
- Navigate to ‘Collect Responses’. Copy and share the link with students.
Creating your own evaluation questions
Alternatively, you could create your own questions to gather formative feedback on specific aspects of the course. In this case, it is best to begin by considering your goals for the evaluation and designing 2-3 questions to help you gather information around these. Ideally, the focus will be on areas where you are able or willing to make changes. You might ask about things such as content, learning environment, assessment expectations and experience, feedback, and organisation. (For an in-depth guide to the creation of mid-module questions, see the University of Toronto Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation, ‘Gathering Formative Feedback with Mid-Course Evaluations’.)
Introducing mid-point evaluations to students and closing the feedback loop
Whatever method you choose for your mid-module evaluation, we suggest introducing the feedback gathering activity in a way that helps students to understand that they are taking part in an open and constructive conversation. Student-facing resources on providing constructive feedback are available here. Allowing sufficient time for the exercise is also beneficial.
Once you have gathered feedback, we suggest evaluating it thematically and then closing the loop with students by reporting back to them. It can help to highlight they key themes they have raised, and to note where you might make small changes or plan for changes in future.