Student Feedback

Using student feedback to aid in the continuous improvement of effective and impactful teaching.

Gathering Student Feedback

While students are not subject or pedagogy experts, students spend more time with faculty than anyone else and can provide valuable information about instructor behaviors such as whether the instructor was engaging, prepared, organized, and understandable. When used in combination with other components of teaching evaluation, and when interpreted carefully, student feedback is a valuable tool for measuring effective teaching. Each school or department should determine how to gather student feedback on teaching effectiveness.

The Process of Gathering Student Feedback

One way to gather student feedback is to use the Student Instructional Rating Survey (SIRS), a university-wide survey of students for their comments about their experiences in the classroom. The results are used by the individual instructors, departments, schools, and the University for the assessment and improvement of teaching. Faculty members are asked to provide summaries of the student survey statistics for personnel decisions such as tenure, promotion, or merit-based pay. All members of the University have access to the summary statistics from the student surveys at SIRS Results web site.

For more immediate feedback, a midcourse survey can provide insight into how the students are feeling about the course at any point in the semester. Midcourse surveys are generally intended solely for the use of the instructors, but some schools or departments may choose to run a more formalized midcourse survey.