Early Student Feedback

This is a confidential process designed to give instructors actionable, learning-centered feedback from their students before the term ends. Brown instructor comments on early student feedback include:

  • “I absolutely would recommend this service, and I will use it again for a different course.”
  • “This was very helpful since it provided an initial prioritization of what to consider and change first. With a new course I have found there is an almost overwhelming number of things I want to change - so having help defining where to start was great!”
  • "You all have really put work into designing a process that brings students and teachers into CONVERSATION. This is so important! And something a teacher cannot always do by herself. So, thank you!"

To request Early Student Feedback, please contact Sheridan_Center@brown.edu.

Briefly, this is a three-step process:

1. Initial Meeting

A Sheridan consultant will meet or talk by phone with you to hear more about how your class is going, key goals, and questions you have. We also talk through the process you would like us to use to gather feedback (if not the one below) and the date that you would like us to visit your class.

2. Class Visit

On the date of your choosing, the Sheridan consultant will sit in the back of your class to observe, primarily for context. (The exception would be if there is anything you want us to look for, since we are there.) In the last 20 minutes, you turn the class over to us. After a very positive framing, we prompt your students to provide feedback in the following ways:

  • Reflective Writing: We break the class up into small groups to write about key course strengths and suggestions for their learning. (This can be tailored to your own questions or to additionally prompt students to think about their own contributions to the learning environment.)
  • Large-Group Discussion: After 5-7 minutes, we convene a large-group discussion to list key strengths and suggestions. We try to get a sense of consensus and ask questions when something is unclear or not related to student learning. Key ideas are listed on the board to check our understanding with students.
3. Report Back

Within a week’s timeframe after the visit, the Sheridan consultant will write up a brief report for you about the student feedback and class observation, and meet with you to discuss. The last part of this conversation involves strategizing with you about how to “close the loop,” e.g., thank students for their feedback, note 1-2 things you could address in response, or discuss what you can’t change (and why). The individual report goes just to you, although you are welcome to share as you like.