Implementing a Midcourse Feedback Procedure
Midcourse Feedback-BUS105 December 30, 2002
Thank you all for participating in the midcourse feedback. Below are your comments and in italics are my responses.
1. List three things that are working for you in this class:
2. List three ways to improve the course:
"I really enjoy Kelly's class. She helps out so much. She is always available. Now if we could talk about some other internet classes.
I wouldn't change anything."
"I like that we can work ahead if we want to.
I like the prompt responses from the teacher.
I like the CP interaction with my classmates."
"Ability to access site.
Great communications link
Instructors aid with problems prompt.
No thoughts on how to improve procedures. Structure of class is excellent."
"Three things that are working well are the discussion boards, the ease of the website, the layout and easy access to information (grades, assignments, so forth) I also like that our teacher communicates with us often."
"The student/teacher interaction in this course is unmatched. Great job!
The discussion forums for HW help and the whole Create-a-Problems concept is very good.
I think the deadline dates and times are right where they need to be."
I am glad that most of you enjoy the format of the class. It has taken a long time to develop. I believe the CP problems add to student understanding and communication among learners. I make it a priority to be in contact with you on a regular basis, so I am glad to learn I am doing a good job! J
"I think more time is needed in the quiz portion. I run right to the wire on most of the answers trying to do the calculations. Also as far as tests go I wish we could use our handouts or sample tests. It is hard to keep everything straight. Also the CP are good but some of the questions are confusing or misleading they are a good learning tool but I will use myself as an example I have a hard enough time without confusing others too."
The quizzes are timed 30 minutes the same as the ďlive class.Ē That group also takes the same quizzes and the time limit is adhered to. Those that arenít finished (which are only a few) turn it when the time limit is up. The quiz is timed at an interval to measure comprehension and understanding at an acceptable level (meaning that 98% -100%of the class is done by that time).
"I think that it is difficult (for some) to get to campus for the exams.
It is the Instructorís prerogative to request exams to be taken on campus. In the introductory material sent to all learners and in orientation it was stated that this was a requirement. To protect the integrity of the exams, I take the option of on campus testing and make it a point to inform students as early as possible (and itís in the course description about 4 exam weeks as well). I feel Iíve allowed flexibility in the exam week leaving students plenty of options on dates and times. I do not plan on having exams online and feel that Iíve done a good job in incorporating test integrity with on-campus exams in a flexible time-frame for students.
I think that it would be easier if things were due on the same day instead of some things this day and some things another day.
The create-a-problem exercises do not allow everything to be due on the same day since your partner needs time to respond. Also, students need time to review the homework sheet with the correct answers before taking their quiz. I felt that the Wed./Sunday due dates were well spaced out and easy to remember while also incorporating time for students to learn from reworking homework problems and from the Create-a-Problems (thatís why I donít have everything due on Wed). To have HW, CP, Quiz, and CP responses all due on Wed. I think would be too much too soon without allowing time for things to ďsink in.Ē
I cannot think of a third, all in all this class runs pretty smoothly."
Good Ö.. that makes me happy!
"I feel a time limit on quizzes is little too much. The purpose of the quiz is to help you do better it seems some instructors are so geared on punishment and not exactly helping you. Homework assignments that need to be handed in at about 10:00.
Iím not really sure on what this comment means. The quizzes are timed just as in a regular course. As well, deadlines are in place just as they are in a regular course. The homework assignments need to be passed in by 11:00 p.m. on Wed. This deadline shouldnít be a problem unless students work last minute. The 10:00 p.m. deadline was for questions to the homework on the discussion link, not the homework to the drop box (you still have that extra hour). This is because I will reply to HW questions to the discussion link up until 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday nights. This resulted when a HW question was posted at 10:55 p.m. on a Wed. with an expectation for an immediate response from the instructor. If students want a response, then courtesy needs to play a role as well. Iíll check up until 10:00 p.m. and answer.
The purpose of the quiz is as a learning tool. Thatís why they are only weighted at 10% and thatís also why you get an immediate response to the questions you had incorrect. I believe by allowing answers to appear helps the learner understand errors and students can also e-mail me any questions regarding the quiz as some of you have. The time limit is in place as in the regular classes.
Some students have an expectation that Internet courses donít have due dates or time limits and that they are self-paced. That myth is dispelled in my introductory letter sent to students before orientation and also on the Announcement page. This posting and direct mail letter to students informs students before orientation and class start that there are due dates and time limits and exam weeks so the student can make an informed decision on if the platform of the course meets their expectations.
I hope this has served as a useful learning tool for all of us. Again, thank you for your participation in the midcourse feedback process.
Fri, Nov 01, 2002 -- Quiz-Building Speed
I forwarded the Mid-term Feedback results to my boss, Gordon Neimi, who teaches Accounting courses here at NMC and also has taught BUS105 in the past. Below is his recommendation and I thought you may be interested in it.
One suggestion for the students that need more time on the quizzes is to do more problems from the book to improve understanding and speed. The students get faster with speed and the learning curve theory backs that up. Also, in a business setting time is money so in a business class it is important for students to not only demonstrate knowledge but speed and accuracy as well.
The learning outcome from this process is that the instructor was able to assess the development of the course. The instructor did not implement change, since the majority of the comments provided positive feedback. It reinforced to the instructor that the learning platform, navigation of the course content, and assignments were all contributing to the success of the course.
A personal reflection by the instructor was that the feedback procedure reinforced the concept of the Business Math Create-A-Problems which was a learning tool developed by the instructor to form a learning community. The students interact with one another using the discussion thread and create mathematical word problems based on course concepts that a fellow learner needs to solve. The partner solves the problems and sends them back to the author via the discussion thread. The author then must correct any mistakes in detail and/or provide positive feedback to the partner. Meanwhile, the author also receives problems from another learner which he/she is responsible to solve and the student that created those problems must provide feedback in a positive tone.
The Midcourse Feedback Procedure provided additional feedback to the Discipline Chair on the student assessment of this class. As indicated in Figure 4, the Midcourse Feedback Procedure was copied and sent to the Discipline Chair for his review and comments. The procedure also nurtured the development of the learning community for the course. By posting the student comments verbatim as well as the instructor's response to the course room, it allowed other learners to read the comments from their peers. The outcome has been more interaction by the learners in the discussion thread. As well, more positive e-mails were received by the instructor regarding student issues. According to White & Weight (2000) the midcourse feedback is especially useful in online classrooms because it is more personal than individual student ratings and allows student to read what other students are thinking (p. 181).
The process of the midcourse feedback builds the online learning community. Its timing allows instructors to make changes during the same class, and its feedback contains specific suggestions on how to make those changes. The procedure is a tool that emphasizes to students tat they have a role in reshaping the method of instruction and subsequent learning outcomes (White & Weight, 2000). The process allows the instructor to gain insight from the perception of the student on how the class is going before it is too late to restructure the class. Continual evaluation is essential and faculty must be willing to adjust their course materials to accommodate what students are telling them while still achieving the learning outcomes (Bauman, 2002).
"Maintaining the midcourse feedback as a formative process-voluntary, anonymous and confidential helps to encourage open communication and a meaningful online student feedback" (White & Weight, 2000, p. 181). If the feedback tool is forced upon students or the students feel threatened with an instructor's recourse and/or anonymity is breeched, the feedback process will not produce honest, reliable student assessment of the class.
The Midcourse Feedback Procedure provided the opportunity to receive feedback from online students at a point mid-way through the course enabling the instructor to gauge the learning methods in the course and redirect if necessary. The formative evaluation tool was outlined in the course text entitled The Online Teaching Guide written by Ken White and Bob Weight, both faculty members from the University of Phoenix.
The Midcourse Feedback Procedure is a formative evaluation tool that allows the instructor to solicit student assessment of the online class in a non-threatening way. The process is voluntary by students, the students' comments remain anonymous and confidentiality by the volunteer that assimilates the comments is guaranteed. This creates a secure environment in which students feel safe in sharing their true assessment of the course.
The Midcourse Feedback Procedure starts when the instructor explains to students as early as possible the purpose of the feedback tool and stresses the importance that their feedback will help shape the course for the remainder of the semester. An e-mail message goes out to the students asking for a volunteer. The first person that responds is usually the volunteer. The instructor composes two questions that comprise the evaluation tool. They consists of (1) List three things that are working for your in the course, and (2) List three things to improve the course. The volunteer collects the e-mail and copies and paste them to word to protect student anonymity. The instructor receives the student responses unedited by the volunteer, in one document, with no names. The instructor can choose to assimilate and reflect upon the feedback and not post a response to the students. However, it is strongly recommended by White and Weight that the instructor constructively responds to each and every comment and posts it to the public platform entity of the learning community. This provided an opportunity for other learners to read the comments from their peers along with the instructor's response, which leads to developing the learning community.
The outcome of the Midcourse Feedback Process provided the instructor with feedback to make changes to the course if warranted. In this case, it reinforced receptivity by students with the Create-A-Problem interaction and the way that the course was designed into four modules allowing for easy navigation to find assignments, quizzes, homework, and helpful hints on specific chapters. It also allowed the instructor to share the feedback with the Discipline Chair who also suggested a way of improving student time on quizzes that was subsequently posted to the course room for students to read.
Another outcome of this Midcourse Feedback Process was that the instructor went on to use the concept in all classes (meaning face-to-face classes) and provided the same type of feedback to students in an oral discussion after the comments were reviewed. This too, has nurtured a more positive classroom environment since student feel that their input makes a difference in how the rest of the class is conducted.
The Midcourse Feedback Process is a formative evaluation tool that can change the direction of the course well in advance of the end of the semester. The instructor gains honest student assessment feedback in a non-threatening way and the students gain a sense of input on their learning outcomes while also developing either a learning community or a more positive classroom camaraderie. The Midcourse Feedback Process outlined by White and Weight in The Online Teaching Guide is an excellent formative student assessment tool when put into practice in both online classes and face- to-face traditional classes.
Bauman, P. (2002). Student retention: what you can control, and how.
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Brookfield, S.D. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.
Palloff, R., and Pratt, K., (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.
Preece, J. (2000). Online communities designing usability, supporting sociability.
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Scagnoli, Norma, I., (2001). Student orientation for online programs. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34, 19-27.
White, K., and Weight, B. (2000). The online teaching guide: a handbook of attitudes, strategies and techniques for the virtual classroom. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon.
Dr. Kelly Bruning
Dr. Kelly Bruning has been working in business, marketing, and education for over twenty years. She is now a fulltime instructor at Northwestern Michigan College. Her background consists of a broad range of business knowledge including organizational behavior, economics, marketing, finance, human relations, and information technologies.
She completed her Doctorate Degree in Business Management and Organization with a specialty in Information Technologies Management in November of 2003. She earned her MBA from Lake Superior State University.
Dr. Bruning has been active in online teaching and training since its introduction to the academic arena. She has designed content for online course and now teaches online courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. She earned a graduate certificate in online teaching and training while writing her dissertation.
She can be reached at.