Anonymous Feedback Forms for Formative Evaluation (of the teacher/class)

Anonymous Evaluation

I can go on and on about how much I love Google Forms.  These quick, easy forms can be whipped up in minutes, embedded in a Web page and you’re ready to go whether its for surveys, tests, or simply creating your own study guide for Korean phrases.

I’ve done my own end of semester evaluations for years.  I’ve always hated the ones that the university provides since they don’t have many useful questions for improving my courses.  Great, I come on time and they like the book (or lack of it).  Some of these have been anonymous and others with the students’ names (usually for use in research projects).  I always get a good sense of what students like and don’t like and then I can adjust my courses accordingly from there.

However, I’ve never requested regular feedback during the course.  This semester I’m teaching a CALL course to undergrads for the first time.  I taught a few years of the course at IU, from around 2004 to 2007, to grad students, but that was a totally different beast.  Let’s face it, I could throw 50 pages of dense research at them each week and they’d read it and get into great discussions based on the materials and their experiences.  My undergrads aren’t going to do that, and really, why would I even try.  This is more of a survey course, and that’s what it should be at this level.

This leaves me wondering how they are receiving the course only a few weeks in.  We’re going to go in the same direction until midterms so I thought it would be a good time to get feedback (so I could change direction if necessary).  I created a Google Form with just one question:

What is your impression of the course so far? Is there anything you would like to change? Anything that you’d like to do more of or do less of? Other topics that you would like to discuss?

I didn’t want or need to get more specific than this.  I wanted it to be easy and quick to answer and I think it is.

The results were ok with four people commenting from a very small class of 6 (yes, not my norm).  The feedback was generally positive with the usual suggestions for less homework (I’ll consider it).  One suggestion was for more emphasis on templates and other easy to design interfaces for immediate use in classes.  I think that this a great idea so I’m going to work this in a little more.  I’ll try to provide some templates for everything we do: Web page templates (Google Sites being one place), Blog templates (Blogger and WordPress), and I need to look for good templates for games, quizzes, and so forth.  I know where to look but I don’t have those off the top of my head.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to using this with other classes.  With the other classes, I’ll probably do it a little before midterms and modify the second half of the courses based on feedback.

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