As the College moves out of midterm season and into the second half of the semester, now is an important time for professors and teaching fellows to reflect on how the class is going. I assure you, students are definitely doing so.
Putting up a brief midterm course survey on the iSite (or handing it out in class) is an easy way to find out what students enjoy about the class and what could use a bit of improvement. For teachers, these forms can be both reassuring and enlightening.
Importantly, from a student’s perspective these surveys don’t just serve a practical purpose, but also a symbolic end—not only are midterm surveys an easy way to measure how students feel about the class, but they also serve as signs to students that their professor/TF is making teaching a priority. This can encourage better communication between students and teachers, resulting in a better overall experience for both. (This is a particularly urgent chord to strike in larger courses that may feel slightly more alienating, where groups of freshman and sophomores may feel shy about approaching professors/TFs with questions or concerns.)
Unfortunately, sometimes this can be like preaching to the choir—it’s often the TFs and professors who are already connecting well with their students who take the time to make this extra step.
That’s where the Bok Center comes in. We hope that by making resources easily available, we can encourage teachers here at the College to continue taking an active role in improving their teaching throughout the semester. To this end, we have prepared a useful sample midterm survey forms along with some guidelines to help you put together one tailored to your class.