Collecting feedback on your teaching
Suggestions for different ways in which you can collect feedback on your teaching.
A combination of the suggestions below is likely to be most effective.
Consider School or course team feedback
Find out what feedback your School or course team collects about the course you teach on, and what, if any of it, is specifically relevant to your role in that course’s provision.
To facilitate this process for tutors and demonstrators, it helps if the School:
- separates out and makes available the feedback that is collected on the tutors’ input specifically (as separate from feedback that is collected on wider course matters)
- reviews how it could be better presented to its tutors and demonstrators
- offers follow-up discussion that includes tutors and demonstrators e.g. in end-of-semester review meeting
Collect feedback directly from your students
When to collect feedback
You can collect feedback on your own teaching at the end of a series of classes, directly from your student group, or from individuals.
This could be around a specific theme (e.g. to query students about their understanding of a specific topic or about the effectiveness of a certain activity in class) or about how things went generally.
Alternatively, and additionally, you can collect student feedback on an on-going basis at any time.
How to collect feedback
A range of processes might be useful depending on the type of feedback you are after, or the type of difficulty that needs to be addressed.
For example, perhaps feedback can be solicited by:
- using your student representative
- by asking the group directly
- by prompting students about different things on a short checklist that you previously prepared
- by engaging your students in an open discussion about the cause of specific difficulties they perceive and how they might be addressed
This can be done in writing, for example by a short questionnaire, perhaps only one specific question, given to them at the end of a class or by email between classes.
Or you could ask students to write on post-it notes that you hand out and stick up for all to see.
Discussing your teaching with your colleagues
Group discussion: colleagues with a similar level of experience often share the challenges you have. It can be helpful to spend just a little time to focus on these and together come up with ideas about how to take them forward.
You could do a mid-semester stocktaking or troubleshooting exercise to:
- compare notes
- discuss your plans for trying something new
- review something you already tried
Working in pairs: you could pair up and arrange a teaching observation exchange (i.e. you agree to observe your colleague’s class, then they observe your class).
Teaching observation works best if you can make sure that you discuss briefly what you would like feedback on in advance, and if you meet to discuss both your observations in detail soon after the exchange.