Resources for Incorporating Student Feedback

Blue note card with the word Feedback

Though further study is needed, research into the efficacy of regularly collecting and incorporating student feedback has indicated that it is a valuable practice for improving as educators (Mandouit, 2018). Instructors can use a variety of methods for gathering student feedback to shape and tune their instruction, from informal mid-semester surveys to a final course evaluation. This blog post is a collection of past resources that continue to hold up as helpful resources for instructors looking to integrate meaningful student feedback into their courses.  

Mid-Semester Feedback 

Collecting mid-semester feedback provides instructors with insights into how students are engaging in their courses and is a great opportunity to discover any areas for instructional improvement before end-of-semester evaluations. To help instructors incorporate mid-semester feedback in their courses, CATL created a blog post on collecting mid-semester feedback from students which includes student feedback survey examples that instructors can download and use in their Canvas course. Survey types include short surveys gauging students’ class preparations and experiences, start-stop-continue surveys, open-ended questions asking students what has helped or hindered their learning, and the Plus/Delta Survey that asks students to provide what they like in the course and what they would change.  

To see a demonstration on how to build a mid-semester survey in Canvas, view this short CATL video resource, TeAch Tuesday – Mid-Semester Evaluations. This video also dives into some best practices for mid-semester evaluations. For example, you might consider sharing with your students any trends you spotted in the feedback. This can help provide justification for certain aspects of your course that you plan on changing or keeping the same (e.g., “the majority of you asked for more review time, so I am going to build more time into our schedule before exams to review as a class.”). For an even deeper exploration of mid-semester evaluations, you can watch this PlayPosit bulb from a workshop CATL ran in 2021 on collecting and working with mid-semester feedback. Topics covered in the workshop include why instructors collect mid-semester feedback, approaches for enhancing the quality of feedback questions and responses, and a breakdown of different surveys and evaluations instructors can use.  

After you have collected your mid-semester feedback, you need to decide what to do and how to move forward with your students’ responses, which can often be the most difficult part. In addition to the CATL workshop linked above, the guide, What to Do with Mid-Semester Feedback, created by the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, is a great resource for thoughtful reflection on and implementation of student feedback. Their guide includes recommendations on how to include students in a discussion of the survey results, reflect on student comments, and use survey data to identify patterns in your instruction and students’ learning.  

End-of-Semester Course Evaluations 

Compared to mid-semester evaluations, end-of-semester student evaluations of instruction (commonly referred to as course evaluations) are a more formal method of collecting student feedback that also relies on standardized forms and questions. Still, it can be a useful tool for instructors to reflect on their teaching when given careful thought and consideration. Since Fall 2021, most programs have adopted a new, standardized student course evaluation form that was approved by UWGB Faculty Senate. Though the form is used for most instructional courses, your department may use its own form or evaluation process, so check with your department chair if you have questions. To help instructors explore and understand this new standardized form, CATL created a video overview of the new course evaluation form. 

Once students have submitted their final course evaluations, what can instructors do with the student feedback on their instruction? The video linked above on the new course eval form includes some practical advice on interpreting your student feedback. Some tips include looking for patterns and trends in the data, taking the feedback seriously, but not personally, and ignoring negative outliers. In general, most of the concepts in the Vanderbilt guide and CATL workshop recording on mid-semester feedback also apply, though in the case of course evals you will have to wait until the next iteration of your course and cohort of students to implement the feedback. 

We’d love to hear from you! 

Gathering and using feedback, whether it’s informally over the semester, at the mid-semester mark, or with an end-of-semester evaluation, can be a useful tool for developing your teaching and courses in a variety of ways. Let us know how you collect feedback and work it into your courses, and share your success, advice, and methods you’ve found most effective. Feel free to drop a public comment or email us at  

If you would like to discuss more about how to collect and evaluate course feedback or how to use other methods of feedback and reflection in your instruction, please reach out to CATL to schedule a consultation!  

Event Follow-Up: Collecting and Working with Mid-semester Feedback

Below is the recording of the “Collecting and Working with Mid-semester Feedback Workshop” hosted on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. We’ve provided the video as a PlayPosit Bulb so that you can engage with questions from the workshop facilitator.

To view the bulb, type your first and last name, then click “Save.”

Here are the resources discussed during the workshop:

We’d love to hear from you!

Let us know how you collect and work with mid-semester feedback. What strategies have you employed? What works? What do students like and what are some areas to avoid? Feel free to share sample prompts and success stories. Comment below or drop us a line at

A sign pointing one way to "awesome" and the other to "less awesome"

Collecting Mid-Semester Feedback from Your Students

Have you been wondering if the ways you’re engaging your students in the first half of the semester have been effective from the student perspective? Collecting feedback from your students is a great way to find out! To do this we have a few models that may provide useful insight into how you can help students meet the course learning outcomes.  

Why might you wish to collect feedback now? 

This semester is unique, so you may find that what you’ve done in the past isn’t hitting its mark—gathering feedback at mid-semester allows instructors to: 

  • make sure that course lessons connected with students 
  • find out where students need support 
  • discover the impact of instructional changes you’ve made this semester before summative course evaluations 
  • uncover changes that you may yet want to make for this semester 
  • avoid surprises in end-of-semester evaluations 

What are some of the best practices for collecting feedback from students, mid-semester? 

How should I ask students for this kind of feedback? 

We have a few models and sample surveys you can download and import into your Canvas courses. Surveys in Canvas are a special kind of “quiz” that has unique options available. If you’re unsure how to import Canvas resources into your class, see these instructions. For information on how to retrieve survey results in Canvas, see this resource. 

Feedback focus groups 

CATL is currently refining a process that allows for instructors to benefit from feedback generated through a small group discussionThis process involves a neutral third party, a CATL staff member, conducting a form of a focus group with students. This would likely take 15-20 minutes. The feedback from the students is then synthesized and communicated to the instructor. 

Process adapted from Northeastern University’s Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research 

The steps in this process are: 

  1. The instructor and CATL staff member meet virtually to discuss goals and agree on questions for the session. 
  2. The consultant visits the class or a group of students from the class virtually. The instructor introduces the CATL staff member and explains that they have asked them to gather feedback, then leaves the virtual meeting. 
  3. Students are asked to compile responses to one question. For large classes, students are divided into small groups. The groups then report out while the CATL staff member records responses. This process is repeated for each question. 
  4. The CATL staff member synthesizes the feedback and reports back to the instructor. Themay discuss how the data can inform teaching practices at this point. 

The benefits of this process include: 

  • The feedback is being gathered by a neutral third party, which may encourage honesty among students. 
  • The consultant can help you shape the questions asked of students and interpret results. 

If you’re interested in piloting feedback focus groups, or would like more information about designing or implementing mid-semester evaluations, please email 

Helping students self-reflect 

Mid-semester is also a time in which you can help your students critically self-reflect on their own actions for their performance at this point in the course. Here are some questions to help frame the ways you’d like students to think metacognitively about their choices throughout the semester: 

  • What do students have the ability to change going forward in the course?  
  • Where might students improve their time management? 
  • Might there be a place for peer-to-peer feedback that could help build community and increase personal responsibility? 
  • What types of assessments might students need to better prepare in order to be successful in the course?  

Borrowed strategies 

What are some strategies you can provide to students to help them get back on track? Self-reflection, metacognitive exercises, and exam debriefings are a few of the strategies that other teaching and learning centers have created resources around: 

For any of these methods, you could create an assignment that doesn’t count towards the final grade or could be an opportunity for extra credit. Here’s how to set up extra credit in a Canvas course. 

We Want to Hear from You

How have you collected feedback from students at mid-semester? Do you have some advice to share about how to increase student engagement with the process? What has been effective when you do make changes? Have you found students are responsive to those changes you are able to implement? 

For those of you who’ve done self-reflective work with students—have you found certain techniques (like those below) particularly effective? Are there others we’re missing? We’re sure of it—please share! Feel free to drop a public comment below or email us at