Feedback Form Template

Form layout in the Syracuse University course feedback system:

Course feedback forms are made up of blocks of questions that appear to students as one seamless survey. The blocks are displayed in the following order:

 

Important considerations for collecting student course feedback:

While consistency in course feedback forms over time is important, periodic reflection on the instruments is an important undertaking to ensure that useful information is being collected from students and to minimize potential bias in their responses. When the University transitioned to a new course feedback system, some schools/colleges and departments revised and refined their forms. For those that have not, it is very important to dedicate time for faculty to review and revise existing forms.

Important practices in collecting course feedback have been identified in the literature, particularly to minimize bias in the responses, including:

  • Taking the emphasis off the instructor and reframing questions to focus on students’ engagement in their own learning and specific course/instructional elements (the Academic Affairs common questions are an example of this reframing).
  • Ensuring that the questions being asked are ones to which students can reasonably respond (i.e., have direct knowledge of). “Instructor’s knowledge of the field” is often used as an example here with some questioning whether students can accurately gauge this of the instructor.
  • Eliminating global questions along the lines of “Rate this instructor” or “I rate this instructor as effective.” These types of questions have been shown to result in biased responses. Additionally, interpretation is difficult as effective teaching can mean different things to different students, and it is impossible to know what students are taking into consideration as they respond.
  • Moving away from calling the process “student ratings,” “course evaluations,” or “student evaluations of teaching” (SET), in favor of “course feedback.” A key message to convey is that students are being asked to constructively share their perspective on the course experience, not to evaluate or rate the course or the instructor.

Faculty should also eliminate questions that overlap with the Academic Affairs common questions and consider engaging students in this reflective exercise.

The IEA course feedback team is available to meet either virtually or in-person to support this effort, as well as hear faculty input, share information, and answer questions about the University’s course feedback process and system. Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

Academic Affairs Common Questions

The following seven common questions are included on all course feedback forms:

My key reasons for taking this course were: (Select all that apply.)  

  • Interested in the subject
  • Required for major, minor, or program
  • Fulfilled Liberal Arts requirement/distribution (undergraduate only)
  • Reputation of instructor
  • Fit into my schedule
  • Advisor recommended course
  • Friend(s) recommended course
  • Other (If you selected ‘other’ as a primary reason, please comment.)
For this course, on average, I spent the following time, outside of synchronous or in-person class sessions, on course work:  

  • 0 hours per week
  • 1-3 hours per week
  • 4-6 hours per week
  • 7-10 hours per week
  • 11-15 hours per week
  • More than 15 hours per week
I feel that I performed to my potential in this course.  

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree
The syllabus was an accurate guide to course requirements.  

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree
Student participation and the contribution of ideas, comments, and questions were encouraged.  

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree
Course assessments (e.g., exams/quizzes, papers, presentations, projects, performances, etc.) allowed me to demonstrate what I learned.  

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree
I received helpful feedback from the instructor to guide my progress in this course.  

  • Strongly disagree
  • Disagree
  • Somewhat disagree
  • Somewhat agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly agree

School/College and Department Questions

Some Syracuse University schools/colleges have one form for their entire academic area; in others, forms are created at the department level and the school/college may or may not choose to include a few questions that are included across all course forms.

Schools/colleges and departments can use the item banks to develop their forms or work with IEA to incorporate existing questions into the new system. The item bank questions are available within the platform and as an accessible PDF

Instructor-Selected Questions

Each school/college determines whether individual instructors can include their own items on the feedback form for their course(s). If access is provided, instructors can develop their own or select up to five forced-choice and/or open-ended questions from the item banks for each course. The item bank questions are available within the platform and as an accessible PDF. To learn how to select and add instructor items, visit the Information for Instructors page.

The following schools/colleges have enabled the custom question option for instructors:

    • School of Architecture
    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • School of Education
    • College of Engineering and Computer Science
    • Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
    • College of Law
    • Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
    • S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
    • College of Visual and Performing Arts