Mid-Semester Formative Evaluations
The CTL offers mid-semester formative evaluations (MSFEs) to those who teach courses at the University of Georgia. The purpose of an MSFE is to provide structured feedback to instructors from their students regarding the functioning of the class and the quality of student learning at around the mid-point in the semester.
As an alternative to the MSFE process, you may want to distribute a survey to your class, to collect information about the course so far. For a great resource on this practice, including some great sample surveys, please follow this link.
The MSFE process is anonymous for the students and is confidential for the instructor. While MSFEs can be performed at any point during the semester, it is recommended that at least four weeks have passed. With this in mind, the CTL offers this service during weeks four through nine during the Fall and Spring semesters. Depending on the size of your class, one or more members from the CTL's MSFE team will come to your class and interact with your students. The MSFE process typically takes 25 to 30 minutes of class time to complete, and we find that the last 25 to 30 minutes of class is the ideal time to perform the evaluation. However, for courses with 100+ students, we ask faculty to allow the MSFE to be conducted during the first 30 minutes of class.
The CTL's MSFE asks students to respond to three basic questions:
- What aspects of class are going well?
- What aspects of class need improvement?
- What changes in the course would benefit student learning?
Students begin by discussing these questions in small groups of 3-5, recording their thoughts on a small group worksheet. As a class, students share their recommendations and the CTL MSFE facilitator asks clarifying questions, inquires as to how many people in the class agree with a particular item that has been raised, and so on. Typically within one week, the lead CTL evaluator for the MSFE will meet one-on-one with the instructor to discuss the results of the evaluation and to consider various strategies for incorporating the most meaningful and relevant recommendations. Following the one-on-one meeting, it is recommended that the instructor discusses the feedback they have received, with an emphasis on the changes they are making in response, and rationale for instructor choices in areas where no changes are being made. We call this “closing the feedback loop”, and it is a key part of process as it validates for the students the importance that the instructor places on learning and their role in the course.
Because the success of the process depends on allowing sufficient time after the MSFE to discuss results and potential changes with your class, MSFE requests will be accepted by the CTL through our MSFE request form until the eighth week of classes – for MSFE dates occurring during weeks four through nine of the semester. After this date, if classroom consultation and feedback from the CTL are desired, please visit our classroom observations page to request a Teaching / Classroom Observation for your course.