Experiences with informal student panel for continuous formative course evaluation
Background: Summative student evaluations of teaching is widely used to evaluate
course content and instruction. However, this feedback does not benefit the students who are pro
viding the feedback, and may postpone feedback such that the evaluation is not useful in correcting
issues in the course. There are several issues with this type of feedback that are tacled in this work:
(i) The evaluation is not a help for the current students. (ii) The feedback is often imprecise. (iii)
Evaluations focus on the quality of the teaching, rather than the impact of the learning. Previous
work [1, 2] have shown that continuous student involvement can improve the feedback received.
The idea in this project is to perform this student panel interaction in an informal setting, conti
nously throughout the semester.
Methods: This intervention has been performed for two consecutive semesters in different courses.
During the first lecture of the semester, students were recruited to participate in a weekly informal
meeting to discuss the instruction in the course. Weekly meetings were held for one full semester,
with each meeting lasting around 45 minutes. Notes were taken on all actionable items, and a
summarizing report was written. This intervention has been evaluated through the inspection of
actionable items in the notes, as well as the implemented items.
Results: 104/116 actionable items were identified during spring/fall 2020, of which 57/65 were im
plemented immidiately. Participation in the student panel group was high and stable.
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