Day 11: Collecting Student Feedback

During the past several tips, we’ve been examining grading and providing feedback to students. However, it is also helpful to collect feedback from students to see how they are interacting with the online course and what can be improved.

When To Ask for Feedback

Magna 20 Minute Mentors suggests asking for student feedback at these key times:

  • The first day of class
  • Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

    Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

    After pivotal classes

  • At the time of the first exam or paper
  • When the first exam or paper is returned with a grade
  • At midterms

Ways to Collect Feedback

  • Use a Google Form (video tutorial) (then you can aggregate data across sections/sessions of courses for research and analysis)
  • Use the Moodle Survey (overview – it comes with preset research-based surveys only)
  • Use the Moodle Feedback tool (overview)
  • Create a discussion forum – call it “process issues” or something similar. Invite students to share issues or challenges they have with the process of the course.

Sample Questions

My favorite questions are open-ended:

  • How are you doing in the course so far? Sometimes this is all I ask in a weekly or bi-weekly survey.

For new courses, I like more detail:

  • Are the course materials organized in a way that is easy to follow? Do you find it easy to understand what to do?
  • Are you receiving sufficient feedback and comments from your instructor? Do you feel your instructor is “present” in the course?
  • How is the pace of the class?
  • How many hours per week on average are you spending on this class? This is useful if you’re unsure of the load of the course.
  • Any other comments? Places where you’re stuck?

More tips from Faculty Focus: Using Multiple Course Evaluations to Engage and Empower Your Students and Yourself.

20% Online Course Evaluations

At Andrews University, (starting January 2013), we automatically add early course evaluations to all online courses. These are added to the course when about 20% of the course time has past (For a semester course after the 3rd week; for an 8 week course, after 1.5 weeks; for a 4 week course, at the end of the 1st week). We use the aggregate data to see how we are doing as a university in our online courses; and if needed the instructional design team will work with faculty members to provide additional training or resources.

The questions on this survey are:

  • Likert Scale:
    • The course materials are organized in a way that is easy to follow.
    • So far in the class, I have found it easy to understand what to do.
    • I am receiving sufficient feedback and comments from my instructor.
    • I feel that my instructor is “present” in the course.
    • I am starting to get to know the other students in the class.
  • Open ended:
    • How many hours per week on average are you spending on this class (include online and offline time working on the class)?
    • Any other comments? Places where you’re stuck?

Your Turn

Reflect. How comfortable are you in collecting feedback from students? What principles do you use in interpreting the feedback? What other ideas do you have for collecting and using feedback for improving online courses?

This post is Day 11 of the 20 Day Challenge to Teaching Interactive Online Courses.

One reply

  1. […] View Survey Results in Moodle If you set up a survey for your course (or we set one up for you) to collect early student feedback, here is how to review the […]

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