Every semester, many instructors choose to do a mid‐semester evaluation of each course they are teaching. This allows the instructor to gather feedback from students about the learning environment in the course. Based on that feedback, the instructor can make changes designed to improve student learning. The instructor may also specifically choose not to make changes that students suggest. In either case, the instructor will discuss the feedback in class with students and use it as the basis for a discussion about what he or she will change (and not change) and why. (In contrast to the first day of class, mid‐semester is often a time when students are really ready to hear about why the course is set up the way it is!)
There are a variety of ways in which mid‐semester course evaluations can be done:
- administer a survey in class on paper & pencil.
- use Bb to administer an online survey evaluation (see instructions and suggestions below)
- contact the CTL to set up a MAP (Mid‐semester Assessment Protocol). Administered by a CTL
staff member, a MAP provides a rich set of feedback for the instructor about a course in
If you have any questions about how to use a mid‐semester evaluation to effectively inform your teaching practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Using Blackboard to Administer a Mid‐semester Course Evaluation Survey
The Center for Teaching and Learning has created a generic mid‐semester course evaluation that can be administered on Blackboard. It can easily be imported into your Bb course and used to gather information from students about their experience in your course so far this semester.
The survey itself is a zip file that can be downloaded: click on this link to start the download.
To import, modify, and deploy it:
- Download the zip file survey onto your desktop (don’t unzip it!). Some browsers may not give you the option of where to save – so look to see where the document is saved.
- Log into Blackboard and select your Bb course
- Click “Tests, Surveys, and Pools” under the Course Tools menu within the Control Panel menu
- Click “Surveys”
- Click “Import Survey”
- In the Survey Import Window that opens, choose ”Browse for local File,” find the zip file on your desktop and select “open” and “Submit”
- After the Survey has been imported, it will be displayed in your list of surveys in the Survey Manager
To modify it:
- From within the Survey Manager, select “Edit” from the contextual menu icon adjacent to the Survey name.
- To change the instructions (e.g., if you wanted to offer students extra credit for completing it, or note the due date for the survey completion) select “Edit” from the contextual menu icon adjacent to ‘Header.’
- To add questions (e.g, you may want to ask students how many hours a week they are studying, whether or not they find the textbook useful, or any other specific question related to your course) select the appropriate question type from the “Create Question” drop down menu and complete the appropriate fields.
To deploy it:
- Go to the Content area in your “Course Menu” where you wish to deploy (create) the survey.
- If you have not already done so, create a folder titled Mid‐term Assessment by selecting “Create Folder” from the Build drop down menu.
- Open the folder titled Mid‐term Assessment
- Click on Evaluate and select “Create Survey” from the drop down menu
- Under the “Add Survey” item you should see Mid‐term Assessment in the “Add Survey – Select Survey Below box. Select the Mid‐term Assessment and click submit.
- The next window “Modify the Survey Options” allows you to set conditions on when it will be available, create an announcement about it, etc.
To view the results:
- Go to the Control Panel
- Select the Gradebook under the Evaluation menu with in your Control Panel menu
- Click on the contextual menu icon adjacent to “Mid‐semester Course Evaluation” column (Note: the column title will be truncated to 15 characters.) at the top of the column in the grade book. (Note that a check will tell you which students have completed the survey).
- Select “Download Results”
- On the next page, leave the settings as default settings and select “Click to Download Results” at the bottom of the page.
- A new window will open up asking if you want to save the file or open it. (It is in EXCEL format).
- Warning: While the set‐up of the EXCEL file is a bit clunky, it can be scanned relatively quickly to get a sense of what students have to say about the course. The first column will say “Question 1”. The second column contains the text of Question 1. It will be the third column that has student answers in it. (This repeats for all additional questions).