Quick and Easy FET

Below are some simple and quick ways for you to get some useful feedback from your students about your teaching, often used in lectures. You would be surprised at the effectiveness of these simple methods if you have never tried them before. They are just two of the so-called "classroom assessment techniques" (CATs) mentioned in the book by Angelo and Cross (1993) entitled "Classroom assessment techniques - A handbook for college teachers" which is available from the HKUST library. You can find a lot of useful ideas there on how to collect data from students about their course-related knowledge and skills, their attitudes, values and self-awareness and their reactions to instruction. Many of the CATs are available on the web too: e.g. http://www.ntlf.com/html/lib/bib/assess.htm .



Minute paper

This is a technique used by a lot of instructors to find out roughly what their students have learned at the end of a lecture or what they think about the class. One way to do this is to ask students to use the last few minutes of a class to respond to the following two questions on a 3" x 5" index card.

  • What is the most important thing you learned during this class?
  • What important question remains unanswered?

Muddiest point

This technique is similar to the one above, but focuses on the one thing that students have most difficulty with during that class. Just ask students to write down "What was the muddiest point in this lecture?"

Anonymous electronic feedback

The Discussion tool in LMES (which is the learning management system at HKUST) allows students to post anonymous message. Instructor can use this to collect useful feedback from students about any aspect of their teaching. Note however that anonymous feedback of this sort may not be representative of class opinion as a whole.

The first two techniques enable you to collect quick feedback about student learning, say after a lecture. You can change the questions to suit your needs. After the data collection, the instructor can go through students' responses, group those with similar meanings into a single category and summarize them. Pay attention to both positive and negative comments. Let students know what will change as a result of their feedback as soon as possible, preferably in the next meeting. There are other simple techniques you can also use in Angelo and Cross' (1993) and Davis (1993).