Well-written, constructive feedback plays an important role in helping students understand what they are doing well, where they should continue to focus their efforts, and how they might improve.
Your Feedback questionnaires on courses and teaching can provide instructors with the opportunity to receive similar feedback. In addition, written comments on Your Feedback questionnaires help instructors interpret ratings data because they provide a context for rating choices.
When end-of-course questionnaires on courses and teaching are administered online, students are likely to provide more comments compared to paper-based questionnaires, and the content of the comments are much more detailed. This is because students have additional time to reflect on their experiences when filling out the questionnaires at a time and place of their choosing (Alhija & Fresko, 2009; Hardy, 2003; Venette et al., 2010).
However, not all students have had the opportunity to learn how to write feedback effectively. The following resources can be used to help students write effective questionnaire feedback, either by setting aside some class time to discuss them, posting them to your course OWL page, or circulating them through social media.
Alhija, F. N. A., & Fresko, B. (2009). Student evaluation of instruction: What can be learned from students' written comments? Studies in Educational Evaluation, 35 (1), 37-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2009.01.002
Hardy, N. (2003). Online ratings: Fact and fiction. In T. D. Jonson & D. L. Sorenson (Eds.), Online student ratings of instruction: New directions for teaching and learning (pp. 31-38). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Venette, S., Sallow, D., & McIntyre, K. (2010). Charting new territory: Assessing the online frontier or student ratings of instruction. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(1), 101-115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602930802618336