Why you should review and get feedback, how to get feedback, and encouraging useful feedback.
You need to be able to review your course so you can:
- keep improving it
- ensure that learners get as much out of the course as possible
- attract more learners in the future
Using reflection and feedback will give you solid evidence to review your course.
Evaluate your course so you can improve it
Getting feedback from your learners is the most important way to evaluate your course but you can also get useful information by reviewing your course.
You won’t be able to foresee what individual learners might want in the future. However, you can balance what you know is useful with the needs of learners and anyone else with an interest, for example accreditation bodies.
1. Make notes while your course is happening, highlighting what works or what doesn’t.
2. Review your notes to make decisions and plan any changes well in advance of the next time your course runs.
3. Adjust your course based on learners’ experiences and stakeholders' assessments of the courses successes and failures.
Get feedback from your students
It’s important to ask your learners what they think of the course before, throughout and after the course, even if it’s just a one-day course. This means:
- asking learners before or at the start of the course what their expectations are – their goals and desires
- keeping in touch with how students are responding to the course, face to face or online
- asking learners at the end what they thought of the course
- telling learners what steps you'll take to act on their feedback
- using the feedback with your notes to review and improve your course
Start by planning how you’ll collect feedback as soon as possible, and well in advance of your course starting.
You might use:
- course experience questionnaires – see examples of survey questions
- focus groups of learners
- interviews with individual learners – see an example
- regular communication with your learners
- learners' comments in online forums
- electronic data, for example from web logs and learning analytics (logging on, completing tasks and interim performance measures)
Encouraging useful feedback
Some learners might be reluctant to give what they think might be 'negative' feedback. Encourage them to provide constructive feedback that will help you make the course better.