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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
It is good practice to routinely monitor courses and modules. Evaluation and feedback can provide useful information on the quality of content and delivery, students’ perceptions of these, and suggestions from students on how they feel their learning experience can be enhanced.
Seeking and acting on feedback can lead to a more rewarding experience for staff and students, promote student engagement and serve as useful evidence for the purposes of promotion and quality review. There are many ways of getting feedback and evaluation, and the best method will depend on the type of feedback you require and the resources available to you.
A short summary guide is available here: Evaluating Teaching Guide (pdf)
A couple of methods worth mentioning in more detail are outlined below.
Student Feedback Survey
CELT have developed a short questionnaire that can be used to obtain quick feedback on modules or courses. You may use the questionnaires in their present form or you are welcome to personalise them.
Student Feedback Downloads
Partnerships for Learning & Teaching (PLT) – Peer review and observation
Partnersips for Learning and Teaching are an effective and information method of receiving feedback on some aspect of your teaching practice, be it with respect to a lecture, practical session, or a review of materials or resources you provide.
Typically, an academic staff member will pair with a critical friend or peer who agrees to attend and review a teaching session of their choosing, and this is then reciprocated.
The issues to be reviewed or observed are agreed in advance and then a final feedback discussion is held. Those who have previously used this approach have found it to be highly effective and a direct means of strengthening collegiality and a sense of mutual support in a non-threatening context.
Partners are often paired from separate disciplines as this can provide refreshing and alternative perspectives. However, it can also be advantageous to organise such within related cognate fields, particularly if the content of the teaching event under review is a major focus. The reported benefits are often focused on the value of observing another person’s approach to teaching, rather than simply having one’s own practice subject to scrutiny.
Grouped student/mid-semester evaluation
The Grouped Student/Mid-semester Evaluation scheme has proven particularly popular in recent years.
An independent evaluator will attend the final 15 – 20 minutes of a class of your choosing. They will, in your absence, group the students and ask them to agree on the answers to three questions: What’s good about this module? What is not so good? What suggestions do you have for improvement? The results are collated and a report provided to you. This scheme is completely confidential and feedback is provided only to the individual lecturer concerned. A confidentiality agreement is signed by the evaluator. Unfortunately, this scheme is expensive as an independent consultant is used, however a basic version could be facilitated internally. Trust and confidentiality would be necessary for success. The protocol is detailed in the document below:
Grouped student/mid-semester evaluation Downloads
Protocol for Grouped Student Mid-Semester Evaluation Download: | Protocol for Grouped Student Mid-Semester Evaluation Download pdf -129 KB|
Grouped Student Evaluation Download: | Grouped Student Evaluation Downloadpdf -130 KB|
Review of Teaching Evaluation Methods Download: | Review of Teaching Evaluation Methods Download pdf -225 KB|