Consider Midterm Evaluations

January 29, 2013

(This article first appeared in the Graduate Teacher Program Handbook. Copyright © 1988 by the Board of Regents, University of Colorado.)

Laura Border, Director, Graduate Teacher Program

A midterm evaluation or in-progress evaluation similar to the Faculty Course Questionnaire (FCQ) would provide immediate feedback to both teacher and students, facilitating change in the classroom during the very term in question.

End-of-term evaluations, such as the FCQ, are instrumental in making long-term, substantial changes, but they have two limitations: students in the course do not benefit directly, and teachers must save their instructional improvements for the next semester.

This article suggests that graduate teachers themselves use in-progress or midterm evaluation to supplement their end-of-term evaluation.

Important Considerations
Three points should be taken into consideration when using midterm evaluation:

  • The instructor should explain that the goal of in-progress evaluation is to improve the instructor's own teaching effectiveness and to monitor students' progress and satisfaction in the course.
  • Students' feedback must be anonymous and the process must be non-punitive.
  • The use of the results should be made clear before the evaluation begins.

In order for midterm evaluations to be effective, instructors should stress the importance of students giving specific feedback. Instructors must be willing to "bite the bullet" and accept the feedback even if it is not all complimentary. They must be committed enough to make necessary changes in their behavior and make an honest attempt to respond to the students' feedback in a positive way.

This article appeared in the "Tutor," Newsletter of the Graduate Teacher Program, Vol. 2, No., 1, Spring 1986, 1-3.

GTP HANDBOOK Publications B