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Conversations with Colleagues: Making Sense of Student Feedback Series

The Making Sense of Student Feedback series is designed to explore various approaches to making sense of student feedback, identify individual strategies to gather student feedback, and examine ways to document and present student feedback. Join your academic colleagues in conversations to enhance your teaching development.

Bias in Student Feedback

Ideally, formative and summative student feedback can be a developmental opportunity for instructors. However, the reality is that bias in feedback can be a challenge to interpret and assess by even the most experienced instructors. Presenters in this session will explore, from various perspectives, evidence about bias in student feedback, ways to encourage less biased feedback, and interpreting feedback which can be informed by bias.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explore evidence of bias in student feedback

  • Identify strategies to interpret and assess bias in feedback

  • Discuss strategies to encourage less biased feedback

Facilitator: Dr. Jason Wiens, PhD, Dr. Fouzia Usman, PhD, Kenna Kelly-Turner
Moderator: Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD

Watch a video recording of the most recent session by clicking on the link below.

Upcoming sessions

Interpreting and documenting formative and summative student comments

Date: Spring 2023
Facilitator: TBC

Past sessions

Collecting student feedback through class representatives

Student feedback is typically collected at end of term, which helps instructors make changes for future classes but is too late to help address issues during the term. Interpreting end-of-term summative feedback can also be challenging due to lack of dialogue with students. In this webinar, you will learn about an alternative approach in which instructors collect formative feedback throughout a course from students using a class-representatives approach. 

Facilitators: Dr. Heather Addy, PhD and Matthew Chu, BSc student
Date: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022
Time: 12 - 1 p.m.
Moderator: Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD

Watch now

Instructor response to student feedback: Opportunities for development

Student feedback about a course can be challenging to receive. Despite the known biases of this feedback, and even when most of the feedback is positive, it is not uncommon for instructors to focus on the critical and negative comments. In this webinar, participants will reflect on the process of receiving course feedback from students, starting from the initial reaction to planning implementation. This seminar will explore how instructors can leverage positive feedback, approach critical feedback and deal with a growth mindset and a lens for mental and professional well being.

Facilitator: Dr. Fabiola Aparicio-Ting, MPH PhD
Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Time: 12–1 p.m.
Moderator: Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD

Presenter bios

Teaching Professor Emerita
Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
University of Calgary

Heather Addy PhD is a Teaching Professor Emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences, who taught at the University of Calgary for 24 years. Her experiences in her first year of teaching at U of C led her to incorporate class representatives into her subsequent courses, including very large introductory courses as well as smaller senior-level classes.

Matthew Chu is a 4th year Biological Sciences major. Matthew was a class representative in Heather’s BIOL 435 (Biology of Fungi) class in the Fall 2021 term.

Dr. Fabiola Aparicio-Ting (she/her), MPH PhD, is and Associate Professor, Teaching and Associate Head for Education in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and Director for Health & Society in the BHSc (hon) program at the Cumming School of Medicine. She has been teaching since 2007, with a focus on teaching public health and health equity in course the span all four years of the BHSc program. Her experience includes teaching large interdisciplinary courses, inquiry-based courses, small seminar-style courses, and capstone courses.

Professor (Teaching), Department of English
Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary

Dr. Jason Wiens teaches and publishes in the areas of Canadian literature, modern and contemporary poetry, archival studies, and pedagogy. He has served in an acting capacity in a number of administrative roles, including Head of the Department of English and Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning, and Student Engagement) in the Faculty of Arts.

Educational Development Consultant, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
University of Calgary

As an educational development consultant, Fouzia works to advance equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives across the university’s teaching and learning communities. She works with individuals and groups on incorporating EDI values and principles, including anti-racism practices, in postsecondary teaching and learning contexts.  

Manager, Office of Faculty Development and Performance
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Kenna is the operational lead for faculty development at the CSM and the Health Professions Education Leadership stream lead for the Precision Health graduate program. As a doctoral student in adult learning and a faculty developer, Kenna’s work focuses primarily on equity, bias, and anti-oppression in university environments.

Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD, is an educational development consultant and academic staff at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary. Her commitment to excellence in teaching and learning is through a range of educational programs and initiatives, collaborative projects, and research interests.