TA Mid-Semester Formative Evaluations
The CTL offers mid-semester formative evaluations (MSFE) to those who teach courses at the University of Georgia. The purpose of a MSFE is to provide structured feedback to instructors from their students regarding the functioning of the class and the quality of student learning at around the mid-point in the semester.
The process is anonymous for the students and is confidential for the instructor. While a MSFE can be performed at any point during the semester, it is recommended that at least four weeks have passed. Depending on the size of your class, one or more faculty members from the CTL's MSFE team will come to your class and interact with your students. The MSFE process typically takes 25 to 30 minutes of class time to complete, and we find that the last 25 to 30 minutes of class is the ideal time to perform the evaluation. However, for courses with 100+ students, we ask faculty to allow the MSFE to be conducted during the first 30 minutes of class.
The CTL's MSFE asks students to respond to three basic questions:
- What aspects of class are going well?
- What aspects of class need improvement?
- What changes in the course would benefit student learning?
Students respond to each question individually, and then discuss the questions as a group. The MSFE concludes with a focus on question #3. As a class, students share their recommendations and then are given two votes to select the recommendations that are most meaningful to them in terms of their learning in the course. The voting enables the MSFE team to report a weighted list of recommendations to the instructor. Typically within one week, the lead CTL evaluator for the MSFE will meet one-on-one with the instructor to discuss the results of the evaluation and to consider various strategies for incorporating the most meaningful and relevant recommendations. Following the one-on-one meeting, it is recommended that the instructor discusses the results of the evaluation and the adopted changes with the class as it validates for the students the importance that the instructor places on learning and their role in the course.