Academic Resources » Student Evaluations

Student Evaluations

Interpreting end-of-semester feedback and creating your own mid-semester survey

One of the more stressful aspects of teaching is dealing with student evaluations. This page will explore getting the most out of student teaching evaluations, from understanding your department’s norms to improving the quality of written feedback to developing your own mid-semester evaluation form.

Join STLI mentoring partner Danielle Dallaire as she walks us through some of the finer details.

1. Take student feedback in stride

Before we get too into the weeds, we should get it out in the open. Even though we’re supposed to be using student evaluations to improve our teaching effectiveness, it’s not always easy to interpret the comments we get. In this short video introduction, Danielle gets things started with some fun (and some good advice) when it comes to student evaluations.

2. Get to know the evaluation form

Log In at https://evals.wm.edu using your W&M credentials, then follow along with Danielle’s video introduction to the Official W&M end-of-semester evaluations.

3. Tell the students your own goals

In this short video (1 minute), Danielle has some good advice on getting the most useful feedback. Being transparent with students about how you’ll use their comments is a great start.

4. Create your own mid-semester evaluation

Getting an evaluation at the end of the semester is great for future adjustments, but Danielle and the folks at STLI agree that getting mid-semester feedback can help you improve class dynamics right away. In this short video, Danielle takes you through a mid-semester evaluation she designed in Qualtrics, but we’ve also got templates ready for you in Google Forms or PollEverywhere.

5. Use those mid-semester evaluations

Anton Chekhov said, “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.” Well, he probably said It In Russian, but the same goes for mid-semester student evaluations. Danielle discusses how she uses student evaluations to make mid-semester corrections in this super-short video.

Download a mid-semester review template to get started

Don’t know which one to choose? Google Forms is the easiest for most people. If you’re already familiar with either Poll Everywhere or Qualtrics, or always wanted to learn how to use them, you can try them out, too. We’ve even prepared video tutorials to show you how to implement the Google Forms and Poll Everywhere options. As always, if you need any help with any of these solutions, the folks at STLI are here to help .

External Resources

Student Evaluations of Teaching [Vanderbilt University | Center for Teaching]

Best Practices and Sample Questions for Course Evaluation Surveys [University of Wisconsin – Madison | Student Learning Assessment]

Course Evaluation Questions [Boston College | The Center for Teaching Excellence]