Closing the loop: communicating responses
When closing the post evaluation loop, there are at least three stakeholders who you should bear in mind and provide feedback to on the results of the evaluation:
Of the three groups, the student group is central to the success of any learning and teaching system. Hence, closing the post evaluation loop, particularly with students, is important.
When students provide you with feedback, they are providing you their experiences with your teaching and course. Their approaches to learning and learning outcomes can be influenced by what you do or do not do in your course and teaching (Biggs, 2003; Prosser & Trigwell, 1999; Ramsden, 1992, 1993).
While students perceive evaluation surveys to be important and continue to provide you with feedback, they are concerned about what happens to their feedback and if staff make use of the data collected (Ballantyne, 1997).
Provide students with:
- The results (broadly)
- The actions or changes you have made based on the evaluation feedback
When and how?
If you conduct an evaluation mid-way through the course, you can:
- Respond directly to students by discussing the key issues
- This can lead to enhancements in teaching and learning for current and future students in a short time frame
If you conduct an evaluation at the end of the course:
- Acknowledge your current students' contribution
- Communicate to them that even if the data is not timely for current students, it will benefit the next class you teach
- This indicates to your students that their feedback is taken seriously in your attempts to improve the course and your teaching
- For distance/ off-campus students you can email the students your feedback directly, post an announcement, or set up a discussion forum in Moodle.
- For an example of how to communicate to your students about their feedback data in your introductory materials, see the Closing the Loop flyer
Your supervisor is as much responsible for the quality of your course and student learning and experiences as you are. It is important that the evidence-based post-evaluation outcomes you have created and developed are also reflected in your supervisor's quality assurance and review of the course and/or program of which your course is a part.
Provide a short report to your supervisor or use the Course Quality Review process to inform your supervisor and/or program coordinator about the enhancements you have attempted or plan to make based on the evaluation feedback data, or your reflections on the evaluation feedback data.
When and how?
At the completion of a course, the brief report facilitates your professional learning and career development in the following manner:
- Provides you with a platform to have a conversation with your supervisor on course improvement
- You will build a collection of evidence-based teaching and learning data for all informed decisions on curricula development, revision, interventions or improvements
- The reflections can form the base for your own professional development training and development program
- They can be built into your teaching portfolio and/or e-portfolio
- Provide evidence of the course improvement initiatives and outcomes for the annual BUILD review discussions and/or academic promotion application.
Your teaching and professional community
"Each of us in higher education is a member of at least two professions: that of our discipline, inter-discipline or professional field...as well as our profession as educator. In both of these intersecting domains, we bear the responsibilities of scholars - to discover, to connect, to apply and to teach. As scholars, we take on the obligation to add to the core of understanding, scepticism, method and critique that defines our fields and their ever-changing borders. We also assume the responsibility for passing on what we learn to discern and act, through teaching, social action, and through exchanging our insights with fellow professionals" (Schulman, 2000, p. 49).
What, when and how?