Gathering feedback midway through a course is one of the most powerful actions that an instructor can take to optimize the teaching and learning environment. Instructors can use such student feedback to determine what is working and what is not in a course in order to make changes before the end of the term. Conducting a mid-course evaluation can also be particularly helpful when implementing new teaching approaches as well as when teaching newly designed courses. Further, the feedback enables students to contribute to the dialogue on how they can better learn in the course. Seeing that the instructor values student feedback and is making changes can also increase student satisfaction of a course. There is support in the literature that gathering midterm feedback is associated with higher scores on end-of-course evaluations (Cohen, 1980; Finelli et al., 2011).


Typically mid-course evaluations are short and involve mostly open-ended questions that allow students to respond in narrative form. One tried-and-true model is “start-stop-continue” where the instructor asks students three basic questions: 

  • What should we start?
  • What should we stop?
  • What should continue?

Instructors may also consider asking additional open-ended questions specific to new teaching approaches or activities. For example, “How have the weekly quizzes impacted your learning in the course?” or “How have the breakout rooms impacted your learning in the course?” 

CITLS has developed a Mid-Course Feedback Question Bank that instructors can use to create their own survey. The resource contains both a question bank and a Google Forms template for a mid-course feedback survey as well as instructions on how to modify and add questions to suit the needs of individual courses.

Various models also exist regarding the administration of mid-course evaluations. A few examples are listed below based on who administers the evaluation to students. 

  • Instructor-administered – Those teaching the class may choose to administer their own anonymous mid-course evaluation. To provide students the space to give honest, constructive feedback, a mid-course survey should not identify learners. For example, instructors may choose to administer an anonymous digital survey developed in Google Forms or Qualtrics that is set to anonymize responses. 
    • Moodle Feedback activity is another option for collecting mid-term feedback from students since those results can be anonymized and because distribution is simple for those using Moodle.
  • CITLS staff- or colleague-administered through a small group instructional feedback (SGIF) session – A CITLS staff member or trusted colleague may also visit the class and gather feedback for the instructor. During this time the instructor should step out. SGIF can be a particularly powerful method as students may feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts with the outside facilitator, and the debriefing between the instructor and facilitator allows for discussion and additional feedback. There are a variety of benefits of midterm feedback solicited in this manner and this process has been described as aligning with Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) ‘seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education’ (Taylor et al., 2020). Feel free to contact citls@lafayette.edu to schedule a SGIF session for your class. 
  • Student-administered – CITLS initiatives such as the Inclusive Instructors Academy involve student pedagogical partners who engage in ongoing professional development as they work with faculty on their courses. In addition to conducting classroom observations, student partners can also gather mid-course feedback. A benefit to using this method is that students in the class may feel more comfortable giving honest feedback to a peer.


  • Schedule the mid-course feedback when developing the course syllabus and list it as an assignment or class activity. 
  • Identify any themes in the student feedback prior to considering whether a change should be made. Single comments may not be reflective of the perspectives of most students in the class. 
  • Do not feel obligated to make changes based on every suggestion, however be sure to let students know that their feedback has been considered. Provide reasons why aspects of the course cannot be changed as well as what changes will be made and why. Some student suggestions may not align with teaching philosophies or may not be feasible to incorporate prior to the end of a course. 


Chickering AW and Gamson ZF. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 3-7. 

Cohen P. (1980). Effectiveness of student-rating feedback for improving college instruction: A meta-analysis of findings. Research in Higher Education, 13(4), 321-341. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40195393 .

Finelli C, Pinder-Grover T, Wright MC. (2011). Consultations of teaching: Using student feedback for instructional improvement. In C.E. Cook & M. Kaplan (Eds.), Advancing the culture of teaching on campus: How a teaching center can make a difference. Sterling: Stylus Publishing. 

Taylor RL, Knorr K, Ogrodnik M, Sinclair P. (2020). Seven principles for good practices in midterm students feedback. International Journal for Academic Development. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2020.1762086

Wong CO. (July 3, 2020). Three ways to use student feedback to improve your course. Faculty Focus. Educational Assessment. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/educational-assessment/three-ways-to-use-student-feedback-to-improve-your-course/