Appendix A: Examples of Mid-Course Evaluation Questions
As is noted throughout this document, mid-course evaluation questions function best when they are specifically targeted towards the goals of the evaluation and of the course. As such, the following examples will best serve only as prompts or variations on questions you might ultimately select or develop, and should be revised and refined in the context of your particular needs. It is strongly recommended that you take the time to tailor these questions to your specific course and goals.
DEMOGRAPHIC AND CONTEXTUALIZING QUESTIONS
You may wish to ask questions like these to collect information that you can use to group and analyze the responses you receive to the open-ended questions that will comprise the rest of your evaluation. For example, if you suspect that non-majors are struggling with your course, you may ask students to provide their major or area of specialization, or to list previous courses they have taken in the subject area.
(Be sure to select and describe your response scale, if appropriate.)
- Please list your Program of Study.
- What is your (approximate) GPA?
- Please describe your career plans.
- I come to class having completed the readings and ready to discuss the day’s topic*.
(*or other preparation that you expect students to complete before class.)
QUESTIONS ABOUT STUDENT ACTIVITIES
Questions like these can help you understand how students are preparing for class and interacting with the course material. This information can help you understand which activities lead to student satisfaction and success, and can help you point students to actions they can do that might improve their satisfaction with and performance in the course.
- Please describe how you usually prepare for each class session.
- Was there any point in the course where you were uncomfortable in a discussion or in completing a written assignment?
- If you had a question about the readings, did you ask the instructor of TA for more information?
- If there is an element of the readings you don’t understand, please describe how you respond to that element (e.g., do you email the instructor, look up information online, wait to see if it will be covered in lecture, etc.).
- Please describe your work habits for this course. When and where do you do the readings/ assignments? How many hours do they take you to complete? Do you take notes or prepare questions on the material?
- Which topic have you found the most difficult so far? What do you think made it difficult?
- Have you discussed the class topics or readings outside of class? If so please describe what you discussed and with whom.
- Please describe your reading habits for this course (for example, when do you do the readings, do you take notes, etc.).
- Have you used any academic resources on campus regarding the work of this course (e.g., the writing centre, learning skills centre, librarian)?
- Do you revise or proofread your assignments?
QUESTIONS ABOUT STUDENT EXPECTATIONS AND OUTCOMES
If you are an instructor who is new to the institution, teaching the material for the first time, or experimenting with new teaching activities, these questions can help you uncover any areas where your expectations for student learning and preparation diverge from the expectations or experiences of the students in the class.
- Was there anything you expected to encounter in this course that we haven’t addressed and doesn’t appear to be on the syllabus?
- Please describe any relationships you have identified between the material you are learning in this course and the other courses you are taking this semester or have recently completed.
- Are the class activities what you expected when you registered for the course?
- Does the content of this course reflect the calendar description? If not, why?
- Will your experience in this course prepare you for future courses? Why or why not?
- Is there any particular content or skills that a student should know before beginning this course in order to be able to succeed?
- Have you felt unprepared for any of the topics covered so far?
- Have you felt over-prepared for any of the topics covered so far? Has the class covered topics you’ve learned elsewhere?
- Did this class use the texts, or types of texts, you expected to use? If not, what texts did you expect?
- Do the assignment requirements correspond with what you expected?
- Do you feel that the workload of this course is comparable to other courses? Please provide examples in your response.
- Did you expect more or less class participation/more or less reading/more or less writing?
- Will the work on writing you’ve done in this course affect your writing for other courses? How or why not?
QUESTIONS ABOUT INSTRUCTOR ACTIVITIES
Questions such as these help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in instruction and in communicating with students, and in promoting particular kinds of classroom or online interactions and activities.
- Do the lectures and/or class or online activities help you learn? Why or why not?
- How does the instructor respond to student questions?
- Do you feel comfortable asking questions in class or online? Why or why not?
- Does the instructor seem interested in the topics of the course?
- Does the instructor make evident the connections between different elements of the course (e.g., lectures, readings, labs, assignments)?
- Does the instructor provide further explanation when needed?
- Do people seem comfortable sharing opinions or asking questions in class or online? Do you? Why or why not?
- Are you comfortable speaking to the instructor outside of class (e.g., in office hours or over email)?
- Do you feel the instructor is more receptive to certain viewpoints? Certain students?
QUESTIONS ABOUT INSTRUCTOR EXPECTATIONS AND OBJECTIVES
Questions in this section should derive directly from your goals for the course, and will consequently vary by instructor and by course. For example, if you hope that students will learn independent research skills as part of your course, include questions about this element of the course.
- Please describe what you believe to be the most important idea or skill you have learned from this course so far.
- How has your writing/lab work changed as a result of the feedback you’ve received?
QUESTIONS ABOUT COURSE COMPONENTS AND ACTIVITIES
You may wish to ask questions like these to help you evaluate particular assignments, or to receive feedback on specific class sessions or activities. This can be particularly useful for new activities or assignments, or for activities or assignments that were not successful.
- Which class session did you enjoy the most so far this semester? Least? Why?
- Please describe the positive and challenging aspects of completing _________ assignment.
- Please describe any ways in which you feel your peers are contributing to your learning.
- Do you feel that you receive sufficient information to complete assignments/class activities? If not, what additional information would be useful?
- Reflect on the class session covering ______. Is there anything the instructor could have added that would improve your learning (e.g., graphs, pictures, examples, demonstration)?
- Would you change anything about the presentations?
- How have you used the online components of the class? Have the online components of the class contributed to your learning?
- Would you prefer more or less discussion? Lecture? Small group work? Presentations? Please explain your preferences.
- Which regular class activity (e.g., lecture, discussion, lab demonstration) helps you learn best? What about it helps you learn?
- Are the assignments for this course different from those you have encountered in other courses? How so?
- Please describe the class or online discussion that you found most interesting (most disappointing). What about it made you feel that way?
- Please describe your response to the organization and presentation of course materials.
- Please describe your sense of the purpose of _________ assignment. How does it fit with the broader goals of the course?
- Is there anything you feel you need to understand better in order to succeed in the class?