T&L Tip #22: Inspire Your Teaching and Your Students’ Learning Through Facilitated Feedback

February 13, 2018

Tip #22: Inspire Your Teaching and Your Students’ Learning Through Facilitated Feedback

Contributed by Kim Vincent-Layton, Center for Teaching and Learning

Mid-semester may not seem like the time to make changes in your classroom, but it is actually the perfect time to inspire your passion for teaching through facilitated student feedback. The mid-semester evaluation (MSE) is facilitated by a trained graduate student who elicits anonymous feedback from your students as they discuss how the class helps them learn and how it might be enhanced/improved to help them be more successful. Students who provide feedback that results in course changes have been shown to experience improved attitudes about the course and/or instructor (Keutzer, 1993). 

Consider the many benefits to faculty and students

  • Discovery of favorite aspects of a course
  • Empowers the student voice in their learning experience
  • Provides insights for timely course adjustments that impact students’ experience
  • Allows for risk-taking in teaching
  • Improves end-of-the-semester evaluations (Cohen, 1980; Murray, 2007)
  • Improves learning and class climate through work with a trained facilitator and the CTL
  • Only takes 20-30 minutes of class

Feedback from HSU faculty who have participated in MSE

  • “This service [MSE] was helpful to understand the needs of my students while maintaining a rigorous course with quality assignments. For instance, I made changes to a homework assignment that I had introduced in the Spring 2016 semester for my Learning and Motivation courses. This new assignment was inspired by comments from the student evaluations from the previous semester. The changes I made to the assignment were well received, as evidenced through my student evaluations. It is important to students that their instructors acknowledge their thoughts and suggestions as it empowers them to take a more active role in their own education. This in turn may make students more invested in the class. I was happy that my students noticed and appreciated my efforts to work with them, as one student’s evaluation comment says, “Dr. Sanchez is a  teacher that is really open to feedback from her class. Throughout the year she allowed her students to provide feedback and she listened. I noticed that she would change some of the class structure to help the flow. She has done an amazing job!” (Spring 2016).” - Mari Sanchez, Psychology
  • "The mid-semester evaluation process was very user-friendly, informative, and felt like class time well spent. It was helpful to get student feedback when there is still time in the semester to respond and make changes. In response to student feedback through these evaluations, I now write more on the whiteboard, talk more slowly, and hold review sessions before each exam. These evaluations are nice in that you feel compelled to make changes and respond to the critiques because the students know you heard their feedback and expect to see some adjustments.” - Lucy Kerhoulas, Forestry and Wildland
  • “Mid-Semester Evaluations helped me to see the students’ perceptions on course strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Once I had it, I incorporated them into my next half of teaching and finally my overall evaluation was 4.5 out of 5.0. Therefore, MSE is really important to instructors to get the feedback from students early and then improve the teaching the next half of the semester.” - Buddihika Madurapperuma, Environmental Science Management

Interested in an MSE this semester? We are excited to co-inspire with you! Please contact the CTL at ctl@humboldt.edu and provide your department, course name, enrollment, days/times course meets, and preferred time(s) for an MSE facilitator to come to your class.



Cohen, P. A. (1980). Effectiveness of student-rating feedback for improving college instruction: A meta-analysis of findings. Research in Higher Education, 13(4), 321-341.

Keutzer, C.S. (1993). Midterm evaluation of teaching provides helpful feedback to instructors. Teaching of Psychology, 20, 238-240.

Murray, H. G. (2007). Low-inference teaching behaviors and college teaching effectiveness: Recent developments and controversies. In R. P. Perry & J. C. Smart (Eds.), The scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education: An evidence-based perspective (pp. 145-200). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.