Midterm evaluations are a useful tool for gathering feedback from your students while there is time left in the semester to fine-tune your instruction. Instructors have found that these evaluations often have a positive impact on the course by highlighting strengths of the learning environment as well as areas where students struggle. In addition, these evaluations provide opportunities to identify and address concerns before course evaluations are administered at the end of the semester. Unlike course evaluations, midterm evaluations are not required by the university and should not be used for evaluating job performance or making personnel decisions.
Ideally, midterm evaluations should be administered between the fourth and eighth week of classes. It is also important that students have had a chance to complete an assessment/test before providing an evaluation so they can offer useful feedback on how the instruction and course materials have helped them learn. (Read more about formative evaluations from the Berkely Center for Teaching and Learning.)
Some instructors prefer to use more informal methods to gather course feedback from their students. These methods can be just as effective as a longer, formal survey and offer equally useful results. Informal surveys are often brief, consisting of only a few questions, and administered multiple times throughout a course, allowing instructors to gather feedback on how changes to the course have been received by students. Informal surveys can be offered in class or online. Instructors can import and modify formal midterm evaluation questions in Canvas. See our article How to Add a Midterm Survey to see how.
For questions regarding midterm and other formative evaluations, ODL instructional development faculty are happy to assist. Call (850) 644-4635 or email us for more information.