Teaching & Learning


Continuous Module Dialogue

Regular engagement between students and staff is the best way to ensure the student voice is heard, help shape the learning experience, recognise good practice, and address issues students might face.

The Continuous Module Dialogue (CMD) process aims to improve the learning experience for students by providing them with early and frequent opportunities to give feedback on their taught sessions and for lecturers to respond in a timely fashion. Traditional end of module evaluations provide staff with information on how well the module has been received by students only once a module has ended, making it too late to address issues or clarify misunderstandings for the current cohort. This is frustrating for both students and staff. Research also tells us that student responses in end of module evaluations tend to be biased against certain minoritized groups of staff. The CMD process is a chance to address these issues as this is a dialogue rather than an evaluation. 

As the name indicates, the CMD process provides brief, structured opportunities for students to feedback to staff at regular intervals throughout the module, giving staff the opportunity to respond with additional information, explanations, or changes as appropriate. We are encouraged by the increase in positive response for Student Voice in the NSS 2023, which potentially indicates that this process has worked well in its first year. UCL NSS 2023 results 

Introduction to CMD

The aim is to ensure that students can raise concerns and seek clarification anonymously while they are in the process of taking the module. Students often express frustration that the information they provide on end of module questionnaires is too late to benefit their learning experience. CMD also provides an opportunity to help students understand the importance of raising concerns in a professional manner, which is an important skill for their future careers.  

For staff, it is frustrating to find once the module has ended, that students were experiencing difficulties, especially where there are quick resolutions available. The CMD process provides staff with opportunities to clarify misunderstandings, signpost to resources, reinforce information or make any required changes, while it can still benefit current students.  

How it works 

The CMD process need not take much time in a teaching session, though research shows that at least starting any feedback process like a survey during such a session helps to improve response rates. We suggest that staff take 5 minutes in class to ask students to start the survey, and 5 minutes (either immediately afterwards in the same session or in the next session) to address key points from the feedback. Major issues may take time to resolve, but an acknowledgement that the concerns have been registered and are being looked at will help to reassure students. There may be feedback raised which is not possible for staff to enact due to UCL policies or feasibility. CMD provides staff with the opportunity to acknowledge this and explain why it is not possible. Students are at risk of survey fatigue if they provide feedback that is not addressed.  

We suggest students are polled no fewer than three times per term between the start and end of the module using the suggested templates below. While these templates are in Mentimeter, staff can also choose to use Moodle questionnaires or another survey software to run the CMD. The focus of the template questions is on the areas that we know are of greatest concern to students: key areas of teaching content, access to resources and understanding what is required in assessment. As term progresses, the questions could remain the same or staff could change them, depending on the responses. If staff are using Mentimeter or other instant polling software, we strongly suggest using the “hide responses” option initially to filter inappropriate or offensive content on the free text questions. Mentimeter and Moodle questionnaire will automatically provide visual summaries of the numerical questions, which staff can share in real-time with students to prompt dialogue of key issues in teaching and learning. If using alternative platforms, please ensure students have the opportunity to anonymously engage. If there are concerns about providing students with this space please contact your Faculty Education Team for advice and support.  

How will we evaluate CMD? 

It’s important to emphasise that CMD is a dialogue process between staff and students in a module. There is no required formal reporting of the students’ responses. Instead, each year we collect information on how staff have used the process, how it could be improved, and whether it has generated the kind of dialogue that has helped staff to hear and respond to the student voice. Students will still have a formal opportunity to evaluate their programme at the end of term 2, where they can give feedback on individual modules as well as programme-level issues. The Annual Programme Survey 2023/24 is expected to follow similar dates as 2022/23 detailed below.  

Using Mentimeter

UCL staff and students can access Mentimeter for free. You can activate your account here.

Question templates are available for you to use (you can add these to your Mentimeter account) or can be used as a basis for creating your own. 

If you want to use the standard question templates, click "Copy to your account" to add these to your Mentimeter presentations folder:

Frequently asked questions

Colleagues should use the guidance on this page as a starting point for conversations with their Faculty Education Teams about developing a common approach to CMD in their departments or programmes. Such a unified approach underlines the motivation behind the CMD and can also help to increase student engagement with the process, which is essential for it to operate well. It also ensures that where students are taking modules in different parts of the university, they have a relatively consistent experience. . 

Do I have to use Mentimeter? Can I use another platform

Mentimeter has been suggested as one option because it’s user-friendly, easy to use, provides anonymity and produces accessible results quickly. Staff are welcome to use other survey platforms including Moodle or a paper-based option but should keep these short, as students are less likely to engage with a long list of questions. With alternative platforms it is important that students are provided with an opportunity to provide feedback anonymously.  

Do I have to do it live?

The main advantage of doing CMD live in class is that it raises response rates. Staff might however prefer students to complete CMD outside the classroom to give them to time to reflect on their learning and respond accordingly. With this approach, use the last few minutes of your teaching session to give the students the link to your CMD, and let them know you will respond to queries in the next session. 
Please note, if you are using one of the Mentimeter templates, go into Settings, and change Presenter pace to Audience pace to allow students to complete this in their own time. 

Can I change the questions? 

Staff are encouraged to change the questions to suit their module better, especially if they're trying to surface any topics students struggle to understand or need more support with or want to tailor the questions to different types of teaching (lectures, tutorials, studio or lab teaching) or to different types of students (first year undergraduates versus finalists or post graduates). Modules and programmes introducing initiatives to address issues surfaced in the NSS might also want to include questions to check how these are being received by students. It is important, however, to keep in mind that the CMD is not a teaching evaluation, and so questions should be appropriately designed to facilitate a dialogue. 

Can I remove the open-ended questions?

Staff can remove any open-ended questions and replace them with multiple-choice options for students to select a response instead. This might be particularly appropriate at the start of term, but we strongly recommend including an open-ended question later in terms to fully understand what issues students might be facing. 

Can I do this another way? 

Stop, Start, Continue or the One minute paper are other methods staff have used for in-class feedback, which both maintain anonymity but do not require students to have access to a device. Even in smaller groups, it is quite important to provide at least one anonymous way for students to provide feedback to ensure that they can speak freely.  

Do I have to do this three times per Term / or three times during the Module?

At least three times during the module for standard one-term modules. Year long modules might want to spread these out over the course of the year, or have a few more CMD check-in points. 

What additional support is available? 

UCL Arena are holding online workshops designed to introduce CMD and how to integrate this into your teaching practices.  More information about available dates and how to book is

Forms and guides

Additional resources

Contact us 

For further queries and support on implementing the CMD, colleagues should reach out to their Faculty Education Teams (Faculty Tutor / Vice Dean Education) and their Arena Faculty Lead.

You can also get in touch with Professor Parama Chaudhury, Pro-Vice Provost (Education).