A Resource for Mid-Semester Feedback

Prepared by: Alysia Wright, PhD, and Lorelei Anselmo, MEd

Last modified: November 8, 2023

Recommended citation: Anselmo, L. & Wright, A. (2023). A Resource for Mid-Semester Feedback. University of Calgary Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. 


Mid-semester feedback provides faculty and instructors with an opportunity to “check the pulse” of their class partway through the semester and implement adjustments, if needed. By surveying students, instructors and students alike gain practical and actionable insights into what is working as well as recommendations for improving learning and teaching (Sozer et. al., 2019).

Effective mid-semester feedback generates student comments that relate to aspects of teaching that are within the instructors’ control, tied to student learning, and remain relevant to the teaching context (Donlan & Byrne, 2020).

Why collect mid-semester feedback

Instructors may want to gather mid-semester feedback for a variety of reasons including to:

Confirm that connections to course learning outcomes are evident.

Support and enhance student learning and engagement.

Assess their own instructional approach, especially when teaching the course for the first time or when changing the course modality.

Improve their teaching by critically reflecting on and recognizing student comments.

Model reflective practice and demonstrate their care and commitment to students’ success.

Avoid surprises in their end-of-semester course evaluations.


A good time to collect feedback is after a graded assignment or the end of a unit; approximately 4-6 weeks into a semester (early enough to make minor adjustments, if necessary).

Class size

  • For large enrolment classes, consider using close-ended questions with one or two open-ended questions
  • For smaller courses, consider using a mixture of open-ended and closed-ended questions

Reasons for seeking student feedback

  • Are you interested in learning whether the course learning outcomes are achievable for students?
  • Do you want to discover which instructional strategies are working well and which are not working well?
  • Would you like information on the pace and workload for students?

Resources to evaluate results

  • If you have TA support, consider more open-ended questions
  • If you do not have TA support, then the size of your class may determine the number and type of questions


The D2L Survey tool allows you to collect feedback from students at any point in the course. You can collect anonymous or non-anonymous opinions with a feedback form.

Learn more


The UCalgary Survey Tool, UCalgary Qualtrics, is a survey platform for conducting online surveys. 

Learn more

Top Hat

Top Hat is a software-based student response system that lets instructors ask students questions to gain quick feedback during class. 

Learn more

Feel free to adopt or adapt these questions to suit your needs (The University of Texas at Austin Faculty Innovation Center, n.d.):

  • Please rate the following related to your experience as a student in this course:
    • Overall, this course has provided an effective learning experience.
      • Disagree
      • Neither Agree nor Disagree
      • Agree
  • What has been most helpful for your learning in this class so far? (e.g., Describe the time(s) in this class when you were most engaged)
  • What has caused you the most difficulty in terms of learning in this class so far?
  • What suggestion(s) can you make that would enhance your learning experience in this class?


When creating your own feedback form, consider the questions to include.

Consider the strengths of each type of question:

  • Open-ended questions provide students with an opportunity to share more in-depth comments about specific aspects of the course
  • Closed-ended questions help gain a sense of larger trends within the class

Consider questions that address:

  • Classroom climate
  • Course content
  • Teaching practices
  • Assessment strategies

(Donlan & Byrne, 2020)

Discuss the purpose and process with your students

  • Explain why you are collecting the mid-semester feedback.
  • Provide an overview of the process including when and how it will take place, how you plan to use the feedback, and when you will share the results with the class.
  • Share this document on how students can provide feedback to professors.

Administer the survey

  • If online, message students when the survey becomes available.
  • If face-to-face, conduct the survey at the beginning of class to avoid students discussing it.

Analyze the results

  • Review and reflect on the results and identify realistic changes that can be made this semester.
  • Summarize the results in a way that can be shared with your class.

Respond to feedback

  • Share the results and how you have incorporated the feedback into the course.
  • Highlight what is working well and clarify why you are using certain teaching strategies.
  • Emphasize what instructors and learners can each do to make the most of the learning opportunities remaining in the course.

References and resources

Donlan, A.E. & Byrne, V.L. (2020). Confirming the factor structure of a research-based mid-semester evaluation of college teaching. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 38)7), 866-881. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282920903165

Sozer, Zeybekoglu, Z., & Kaya, M. (2019). Using mid-semester course evaluation as a feedback tool for improving learning and teaching in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 44(7), 1003–1016. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2018.1564810

The University of Texas at Austin Faculty Innovation Center (n.d.). Mid-semester feedback. https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/mid-semester-feedback

Windsor, A. & Ivey, S. (2018). Using mid-semester evaluations for increasing success of stem students: A case-study. Journal of STEM Education, 19(3), 21–26.