Mid Semester Surveys

(Rev. date: August 31, 2021 - 10:30pm)
CER-site-icon_pre_survey%404x

Conducting a student survey during the semester is a best practice in any course. It signals to students the instructor’s commitment to their learning, builds community, helps identify challenges students may face that the instructor can address, and communicates the instructor’s expectations for the semester.   This page recommends questions to include in a short, anonymous survey during the semester. Allowing students to submit responses anonymously will encourage them to provide feedback.  Faculty are not obligated to address every comment, but should consider those that are either 1) mentioned by multiple students and/or 2) significantly impacting students.

Recommended Process

  1. Develop the survey using a tool like a Blackboard survey or MS Forms, which are free to use by JHU instructors. 

    Recommended questions are:
    • What aspects of this course and the instructor's/TA's teaching contribute most to your learning?
    • What concepts do you struggle with or find confusing, if any?
    • What other comments do you want to share including things the instructor (and TAs) should continue doing  or suggestions for improvement?

      You can quickly create a survey with the previous questions in MS Forms by clicking this link - COPY SURVEY - and then click the "Duplicate It" button on the resulting page. Click the Share button on the top of the page to copy a URL to send to students. If you need help, contact the CER staff at cerweb@jhu.edu
       
  2. Email students a request to complete the survey by a specified deadline. Completing the survey should not be mandatory so students do not feel pressued to complete it.

    EXAMPLE: I am committed to continually improving my teaching, therefore, I ask that you complete a short mid-semester course evaluation by . It contains three questions, which should take 3-5 minutes to complete. I take student feedback seriously, but please know I may not be able to address every comment because of the resources or time required. I   may also have pedagogical reasons for choosing certain resources or using specific teaching strategies.
     
  3. Review results and identify what issues are a priority to address. Consult with Center for Educational Resources staff (cerweb@jhu.edu) to discuss strategies for addressing student feedback as needed. In choosing what comments to address, consider those that are either 1) mentioned by multiple students and/or 2) describe issues significantly impacting students. 
     
  4. Communicate to students a summary of the key themes in student feedback and any changes you will make during the semester.   Faculty are also encouraged to explain why they will not address suggestions. Again, instructors do not need to address every comment submitted by students.

Additional Questions to Consider

The questions above are recommended to help faculty identify the strategies that help students succeed along with potential issues to address before the end of the semester. Faculty can include additional questions as well. Below are examples of other questions to consider. 

  • Rate your experience in this course to date. 
    [Excellent - Very Good - Good - Fair - Poor]
  • How could the communications from the faculty member be improved, if at all?  Feel free to also share what you appreciate about the communications that the faculty member should continue doing?
  • (If relevant,) What feedback would you like to share with the teaching assistants in the course?
  • I feel comfortable participating in class discussions and activities. 
    [Strongly Agree - Agree - Disagree - Strongly Disagree]
  • I feel comfortable asking the instructor (and teaching assistants) for help when I need it. 
    [Strongly Agree - Agree - Disagree - Strongly Disagree]
(Rev. date: August 31, 2021 - 10:30pm)