Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

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.

It helps if your School:

  • separates out and makes available the feedback that is collected on your input specifically (as separate from feedback that is collected on wider course matters)
  • reviews how it could be better presented to you and your peers
  • offers follow-up discussion that includes e.g. in an end-of-semester review meeting. You might suggest these ideas to your course organiser and / or try to organise a feedback discussion with your peers on your own initiative

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 at any time.

Alternatively, and additionally, you can collect student feedback on an on-going basis throughout the course of your teaching.

How to collect feedback

For example this could be around a specific theme (e.g. to query students about their understanding of a specific topic or about the effectiveness of an activity you tried out in class) or about how things went generally.

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.

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 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 giving them a short questionnaire, 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 all feedback in detail soon after the exchange.

Follow-up actions

Read chapter 10 - ‘Feedback on Teaching’ - in 'Tutoring and Demonstrating, a Handbook'.

This chapter summarises ideas discussed above and more in a practical user-friendly way.

 

Dr Miesbeth Knottenbelt

Head of Support for Tutors and Demonstrators