As we approach the mid-point of the semester, is it too late to make changes? Not if we approach teaching and learning with a growth mindset in which change (for both teachers and students) is valued and supported.
Here are two suggestions for valuing growth by generating informal feedback at midterm, taken from David Clark and Robert Talbert, authors of Grading for Growth. (The Learning Community focused on alternative grading is exploring their ideas among others.)
Additional discussion online: https://gradingforgrowth.com/
What it is: Have students fill out a short, anonymous survey with three questions like these:
- What is something that we are doing in this class that we should stop doing in order to help your learning?
- What is something that we are not currently doing in this class that we should start doing in order to help your learning?
- What is something that we are currently doing in this class that we should continue doing in order to help your learning?
In each case, also ask for a brief reason for the response.
For a variation on Stop/Start/Continue that builds in some ungraded retrieval practice, see this post by Pooja Agarwal.
What works/what should change
What it is: Have students fill out a short, anonymous survey with two questions:
- What is something about this class or the way it is conducted has worked well for you? Why do you like it?
- What is one thing we should change about this class that would improve your learning? How would you suggest changing it, and why?
What’s Working/What Else/What’s Next
What it is: This is a variation used by Professor Sean Meehan, adapting the questions already used by students for revision of their writing projects. It emphasizes teaching and learning as an ongoing project.
- What’s working in the class so far that is helping your learning?
- What else might we do in the class that would improve your learning and progress?
- What’s next? Identify one or two things for your to-do list that you can do to improve your learning experience and progress in the course for the rest of the semester.