Midterm Course Evaluations

Doing course evaluations around midterm is not required, but many faculty find it very useful to assess student learning experiences and make tweaks during the semester that can improve the course for both instructor and students.

Both you and your students can benefit from a midterm “time out” to gather information about how the course is unfolding — what’s working and what isn’t. Hand out an evaluation form for students to fill out anonymously in class or complete online.
Your first instinct might be to keep the results to yourself. But if you share the outcomes with the class and outline any adjustments you plan to make in response to the midsemester critiques, students are more likely to be generous in the formal evaluations at the end of the term. If you can’t make the changes they want, you can at least explain your approach. Either way, odds are, students will remember that you cared enough to check in and be responsive. 

Measuring Up: How to Manage Those Dreaded Course Evaluations by Jane S. Halonen and Dana S. Dunn (June 1, 2023), Chronicle of Higher Education

Midterm Course Evaluations take many forms, from the simple “take out a piece of paper …” or “post anonymously in this Padlet” to surveys that allow you to ask narrative questions, as well as get quantitative feedback. 

A few sets of questions colleagues have found useful:

  1. What aspect of the course is most beneficial to your learning?
  2. What aspect of the course is least effective for your learning?
  3. What can the instructor do to improve your learning?
  4. What can you do to improve your learning?
  • Answer one question on each side of a 3×5 card:
    • How is the class going for you?
    • One concrete suggestion for improving the course.

You can also find a few simple digital templates by logging into Microsoft Forms (just click the “duplicate it” button, make any changes you’d like & share the link with your students):

  1. Keep/Start/Stop
  2. Feedback & Reflections

Additional Resources:

Why Professors Should Ask Students for Feedback Long Before the Semester is Over (Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge, June 10, 2021)

This website is maintained by the Dean for Faculty Development at the College of Wooster. Contact me if you have questions or suggestions. Dr. Christa Craven: ccraven@wooster.edu