How am I doing in this class?

Time to Check In

It’s hard to believe that classes began a month ago, but somehow midterm is already on the horizon, and the deadline to drop a class is coming up in two weeks (on October 12). By this point in the semester, both you and your students need some feedback on their learning.

Students are justifiably anxious when they don’t know how they’re doing in a class, and they usually think of graded work as essential feedback on their progress. Hopefully, in addition to quizzes, homework, and exercises, your students have already taken at least one exam, or submitted a major assignment, so they know whether they’re on the right track.

While grades provide some data, they’re not enough to help students improve their work or the strategies they are using to learn. Students also need opportunities to apply, test, and build on their knowledge, within a cycle of clear goals, practice, and feedback. Timely and targeted feedback on their work helps them to make educated decisions about where to direct their effort and how to study, and analyzing their work can help you decide whether and how to adjust your teaching strategies or plans for the remainder of the term.

There are a variety of quick and effective ways to create opportunities for you and students to get feedback on their progress: Class-wide discussion of the learning goals, formative assessments, clicker questions, and minute papers are all great strategies. You can also try mid-course evaluations (more examples here) or other methods of eliciting feedback from students on how the course is going for them. When we respond to mid-course evaluations by making adjustments that help students learn, we can improve our end-of-term evaluations as well.

CAT can also help you collect feedback. You can invite us to your class, and we’ll talk to your students about how the learning experience is going, then meet with you to discuss what we hear. It only takes about 25 minutes of your class time, and it’s completely confidential. To schedule a “midcourse interview,” contact us at

Upcoming Events

Interpreting and Responding to Student Evaluations
Thurs., Oct. 4th | 1:00-3:00 p.m. | DIF 432 | Sign up to attend

Student feedback is essential for reflecting on our course designs and teaching practices, but finding out how students responded to us, and to our courses, can be an emotional, sometimes overwhelming experience. In this interactive workshop, we will share strategies for analyzing and interpreting the data collected at the end of each semester, and help you to make the best use of the feedback students provide in their comments. We’ll also discuss a variety of effective ways to collect feedback from students throughout the semester, so you don’t have to wait until a course is over to adjust it for better results.

Exam Design Workshop
Tues., Oct. 23rd | 2:00-4:00 p.m. | DIF 432 | Sign up to attend

Are you testing what you want to be testing? During this session, we’ll work on designing exams that are not only accurate measures of student learning in your course, but also learning opportunities themselves.

Open Textbook Workshop
Thurs., Oct. 25rd | 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | Bradley Reading Room, Strozier Library

The Office of the Provost is sponsoring a workshop to introduce faculty to open textbooks and the benefits they can bring to student learning, faculty pedagogical practice, and social justice on campus. Participating faculty will be invited to engage with an open textbook in their discipline by writing a brief review, for which they will be eligible to receive a $200 stipend. Interested faculty are invited to apply by Friday, October 12th.

If you have questions about this workshop or open textbooks, please contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian, at 850-645-2600 or You can also visit the Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative website for more information about open education initiatives at FSU.