The Midterm Check-In is the opportunity for interested instructors to collect midterm feedback in their course(s) using the Your Feedback system [i.e., the online system used at Western to administer the end of course Student Questionnaire on Courses and Teaching (SQCT) - feedback.uwo.ca].
For instructors who want to opt-in to the Midterm Check-In and select questions, the instructor selection window for Fall 2017 is September 11 to September 30. Instructions on opting in and selecting questions for the Midterm Check-In are available at http://www.yourfeedback.uwo.ca/instructorsMidtermguide.cfm
Students in participating courses will be able to complete their Midterm Check-In from October 16 to 22 on feedback.uwo.ca. Students will be sent an e-mail inviting them to complete their Midterm Check-In questions on October 16 and one reminder before the Midterm Check-In period closes (i.e., the end of the day on October 22).
Please note that only the instructor will have access to her/his Midterm Check-In results.
If you want to opt-in to the Midterm Check-In for a course, you need to select at least one question from the Midterm Check-In question pool. You can select up to 28 questions from the question pool (which contains 28 questions).
There is no magic number of questions to select. eXporance, the company that supplies the software for the Your Feedback system, recommends no more than 20 questions. In these days of survey fatigue, even that might be too many. The smaller the number of questions, the more likely students will complete your Midterm Check-In. Include enough questions to get feedback that will be helpful to you but not more.
When selecting questions, consider your course outcomes and design, and select questions that will provide useful feedback on important aspects of the course; feedback that can inform potential adjustments you might make in the current iteration of the course. If you are doing something new in your course, you might consider selecting questions that address the novel aspects of the course, and may ultimately lead to fine tuning of the current course.
The Midterm Check-In question pool includes the core SQCT questions (the first 11 questions in the Midterm Check-In pool) and additional questions that are also in the supplementary SQCT question pool. This allows you to compare the ratings from the Midterm Check-In and end of course SQCT and see if there are differences in the ratings that may have resulted from adjustments you made in the course.
Midterm feedback provides the opportunity for you to get your students' feedback on your course; highlighting those teaching practices that are supporting learning as well as aspects of the course that might benefit from adjustment. Midterm feedback should be seen as a form of constructive feedback that provides insight into the ways in which students learn and interact with instructors and course materials, promoting conversation, reflection, and action.
The most effective strategy for motivating students to provide feedback is instructor encouragement and interest. Letting students know how your teaching and courses have changed due to previous feedback while also providing clear instructions greatly support increased response rates. Be sure to direct them to feedback.uwo.ca during the Midterm Check-In period (October 16 - 22) to provide feedback. You may also want to consider providing class time for students to complete the Midterm Check-In.
Midterm Check-In Results will be available in early November. You will receive an e-mail to your Western e-mail account from feedback.uwo.ca notifying you when your Midterm Check-In Results are available, with a link to the Results. Alternatively, you can check your My Dashboard at feedback.uwo.ca. Your results will be in the Reports section when it is available.
Only the course instructor has access to the results of her/his Midterm Check-In.
The midterm feedback provides an opportunity for you to reflect on your teaching and the course and possibly make adjustments to the course. You may want to discuss your Midterm Check-In results with a trusted colleague and talk about their implications. You can also book an appointment to discuss your questionnaire results with a member of the Teaching Support Centre.
It is very important when collecting midterm feedback that you "close the feedback loop"; that you discuss the feedback you received and the actions that will result from that feedback with your students. If your students feel that you are not taking their feedback seriously, they will be less likely to provide feedback in the future.
Based on your students' feedback, you may be able to make adjustments to the current course. It is important that you discuss the feedback you received and any adjustments that you will be making. In some cases, their feedback may inspire you to make larger changes that would have to wait for future iterations of the course. In this case, you should share the feedback and tell your students why you are not able to make the change to the current course. In some cases, there may not be anything you can do to address their feedback. If that is the situation, you should discuss why you cannot make changes based on their feedback.
When interpreting numerical ratings, it is important to look at more than just the mean score. The mean score should be understood in relation to the median score and standard deviation. The mean score is the average of the rating responses for a single question. The median is the middle score of all of the ratings responses.
As an extreme example, in a class of 41 students, 33 students might give a rating of 6 (Agree) for the item "The instructor presents concepts clearly" while 8 students might rate it as a 1 (Strongly Disagree). The mean (i.e., average) for the question would be 5 (Somewhat Agree), despite the fact that 80% of the students agreed with the statement.
The median is calculated by laying out all individual ratings for a question from low to high and choosing the score that is the middle number in that range. In this case, there were 41 responses, so a response of 6 (Agree) would be the middle rating if all 41 responses were listed from low to high. So, in this case a minimum of 50% of students agreed that the instructor presents concepts clearly.
In both cases, it is important to know that 8 students strongly disagreed with the item but the median shows that most students agreed with it.
The standard deviation is an indication of differences of ratings within student responses. A smaller standard deviation, (e.g., 1) indicates that students are generally in agreement in their responses, while a larger standard deviation (e.g., 3) indicates that student answers covered a larger range of ratings.
For example, if the item "The instructor presents concepts clearly" has a rating mean of 6 with a standard deviation of 0.5, students have more of a consensus on this item than if the standard deviation was 1.5.
Share your numerical results with a trusted colleague and talk about its implications. You can also book an appointment to discuss your questionnaire results with a member of the Teaching Support Centre.
Detailed instructions on how to select questions for the Midterm Check-In are available at http://www.yourfeedback.uwo.ca/instructorsMidtermguide.cfm.
There will also be two drop-in sessions to help you with the opt-in and question selection process.
1) Thursday, September 14 from 1pm-4pm in room 0122 of the Western Student Services Building
2) Wednesday, September 27 from 1pm-4pm in room 0122 of the Western Student Services Building
Also, please feel free to send any question to email@example.com.