Active Teaching Lab Recap: Student Feedback — 10 Ways to Get It

Wed February 24, 2021

Theme of February 24, 2021

Get student feedback — 10 ways: Instead of guessing or trying to interpret assessments, hear directly from students what’s working and what’s not. (Bonus: it increases their learning too!)


Feedback from students can come in several forms; emphasizing technical obstacles and addressing content-related issues. Considering the timing and purpose of gathering feedback can help you navigate what questions you want to ask students. For example, at the beginning of the course questions about course entry, navigation, and technical issues may be more important. During the course, gathering feedback from students about their understanding of the course content to inform instructional interventions. 

  1. Create a culture of feedback by building feedback into everyday practice. Make quick and easy Classroom Assessment Techniques a part of every activity to gauge students’ understanding. For example, a practice as simple as ending your class with a Minute Paper will emphasize reflective feedback.
  2. Create a culture of support by building and using FAQ discussion forums — informal spaces in Canvas for students to post questions about the course. 
  3. Model examples of feedback: Share feedback from past students, and explain how you used it to improve the course. 
  4. Use Pulse surveys: addressing technology issues, etc. (K) emphasize flow, structure, and tech usability.
  5. Make Feedback interactive: Create interactive experiences during virtual lectures with digital polling software to assess understanding.
  6. Collect feedback with intention: Understand why and for what purposes you are collecting student feedback. Use intent to guide the tools used, when to request it, and how to use it. 
  7. Empower Group Feedback: Small Group Instructional Diagnosis is a useful way to collect and summarize consensus-driven student feedback relative to an entire course, session or series. The purpose is to clearly define and data collection is summarized via trained facilitators. This process takes time to prepare, implement, and for follow-up, but the findings are very valuable. 
  8. Get Observed: Feedback on Teaching (FoT) is now a campus wide initiative involving receiving feedback from colleagues — content experts or educational experts — about specific teaching concerns. Feedback may be about classroom management, use of technology, teaching interventions, or assessment methods. Feedback is focused with an application of a variety of observational tools. Most often used for formative feedback versus summative (e.g. for promotional purposes). 
  9. Track Student Progress: Use Direct Evidence of Student Learning (DESL) Regularly check in on students’ progress toward course learning outcomes by setting up the DESL software in your Canvas course. 
  10. Make it a Cohort Legacy: at the end of a course, ask students to help make the experiences of future students better by providing you with broad feedback.

To learn more and discover new resources, visit the session’s activity sheet.


Find out more about Active Teaching Labs here.