What is FYI?

Feedback on Your Instruction (FYI) is a web-based system for generating a survey to collect student feedback about teaching effectiveness and the quality of specific aspects of a course. The FYI surveys are intended as a convenience to you and they are for your use only. They may be modified in multiple ways to best meet the goals you have for collecting feedback on your teaching, in general, or your specific courses.

How to construct a Course Feedback Survey Using FYI

When you want to use a survey to gather student feedback, the FYI menu provides topics, on the left side of your screen, with corresponding questions, which appear when you select a specific topic, to ask your students.

Choosing Items

Select a specific question by clicking within the box around the question’s text. Once you have selected your question, the box will be highlighted in blue and the question will be added to the preview of your course survey – appearing on the right of your screen. You can unselect a question by clicking the highlighted box to remove the question from your survey. Once you have selected your questions you can click and drag questions to reorder them in the preview area. If you would like to see the complete layout with the response area included, you can click the box next to "Show response areas”, and the strongly disagree to strongly agree (SD, D, N, A, SA) scale and blank lines for open ended questions will appear.

Number of Questions

Fewer than 20 questions is desirable. The extensive number of options in the FYI system is meant to take into account the wide variety of possible course characteristics and teaching goals. Choices should be limited to those you most want to know about and should be based on your course context. You should not include too many items on a student feedback survey if you want students to complete the survey thoughtfully.

Types of Questions

There are three types of question formats. The first format – scaled item – asks students to rate their agreement with a given statement using the ratings of SD, D, N, A, SA, respectfully standing for strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree. These have been adapted from the former Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) instrument that was used at Ohio State for more than twenty years.

Example Questions:

Exam questions were clear.

Course helped develop my problem-solving ability.

Writing and drawing at board were legible.

The second format – open ended – allows for students to comment, rather than select a specific rating.

Example Questions:

How did the way in which the course was designed help or hinder your learning?

What outcomes did you experience as a result of course field experiences?

Which course texts would you recommend adding or eliminating and why?

The third format – tailored items either scaled or open-ended – allows you to tailor the statement to be specific to your course. Instead of asking if the students found a general item agreeable or disagreeable, or to comment in general on a given item, you can include the specific items.

Example Questions:

Please comment on the following reading(s), being as specific as possible about its effect on your learning:

Glasswell's Notes on Metaphysics

The following field experience was helpful to my learning:

Cosi

Wexner Center for the Arts

You may choose whatever mix of these formats you desire in constructing your survey.

Note for Team Teaching Situations

When a survey is being constructed for a team teaching situation, it is best to decide how to do this based on the team arrangement. If each instructor teaches separate components fairly independent of the other, separate surveys can be used for each. If each instructor participates fully in the course design and is present and active during the majority of course sessions, the course should be evaluated as one, with all instructors sharing the rating. Only the team members can make the decision as to what is most appropriate.

The Survey Creator walks you through three easy steps to create, format, and generate your survey. The three buttons on the left of your screen will guide you through this process. In "Step One," you will select the questions for your survey by selecting a specific topic on the left of your screen, and then clicking on the desired questions within each topic. We suggest no more than 20 questions total for an effective survey. After you have selected your questions, you can rearrange their order by clicking and dragging the questions in the preview screen on the right. In "Step Two,” you have the opportunity to format a heading for your survey, including course information, and make adjustments to your response spaces for open-ended questions. Lastly, in "Step Three," you will generate your survey as a PDF. If you have any questions about FYI or the results of your survey, please contact University Center for the Advancement of Teaching by email at ucat@osu.edu or by phone at (614) 292-3644.

Scale:

Exam questions fairly reflected course content.
Exam questions were clear.
Exams emphasized thinking rather than memorizing.
Instructor clearly indicated content coverage of exams.
Appropriate assessment methods were used in this course.
My performance was assessed frequently.
Assessment methods were consistent with course goals.
Exams fairly tested my learning and understanding of course material.
Sufficient time was allowed for exams.
Exams required creative or original thought.
Exams were of appropriate level of difficulty.
Exams were compatible with course objectives.
Quizzes were used effectively in this course.
An appropriate number of exams was given.
Study sessions before exams were useful.
The following exam format was appropriate for this course: (Enter each format below as a bullet point. Example)
  • closed-book
  • open-book
  • take home
    The following exam provided me with a good opportunity to demonstrate my learning in this course: (Enter each name of exam below as a bullet point. Example)
    • Midterm
    • Final
    • unit test

      Open:

      What suggestions do you have regarding the type and frequency of exams in this course?
      Which types of examinations provided you with the best opportunities to display your knowledge in this course?
      What suggestions do you have for the instructor for helping students prepare for examinations?

      Scale:

      Course assignments contributed to my learning.
      Course assignments stimulated my interest in the course.
      Course assignments were of reasonable length.
      Course assignments were at an appropriate level.
      Problem-solving assignments were helpful.
      Instructions for course assignments were clear.
      Writing assignments were useful.
      Number of course assignments was reasonable.
      Assignments helped achieve course objectives.
      Assignments involved application of concepts discussed in class.
      Time allowed for assignments was reasonable.
      The following assignment was helpful to my learning: (Enter each assignment below as a bullet point. Example)
      • Assignment
      • Assignment
      • Assignment

        Open:

        Which of the course assignments were most helpful to your learning?
        Describe any difficulties you had with course assignments.
        What things can the instructor do to help students with assignments?
        What suggestions do you have for other useful assignments that might be used in this course?
        Should any assignments be dropped? If yes, please indicate which ones and why.

        Scale:

        Level of challenge in the course was appropriate.
        I had the necessary background knowledge I needed to succeed in this course.
        Pacing of the course was appropriate.
        Sequence of topics in this course was logical.
        Instructor followed course outline.
        Course title and description were consistent with content.
        Instructor incorporated multiple perspectives.
        Instructor incorporated views of women and minorities.
        The following characteristic of this course helped my learning: (Enter each characteristic below as a bullet point. Example)
        • Characteristic
        • Characteristic
        • Characteristic

          Open:

          How did the way in which the course was designed help or hinder your learning?
          Were there times when the course design confused you? If so please describe.

          Scale:

          Instructor generated questions and discussion in class.
          Instructor raised stimulating and challenging questions.
          Instructor led class discussion skillfully.
          Class discussions were focused.
          Instructor generated broad class participation in discussion.
          Instructor encouraged differing points of view.
          The amount of time spent in discussion was appropriate for the course.
          Class discussions were characterized by a high degree of: (Enter each characteristic below as a bullet point. Example)
          • First characteristic
          • Second characteristic
          • Third characteristic

            Open:

            Comment on the role of class discussion in enhancing your learning in this course.
            Comment on the extent to which the instructor encouraged your participation in class discussions.
            Comment on the instructor's discussion-leading skills.

            Scale:

            Field experiences were well chosen.
            Field experiences were well organized.
            An appropriate amount of time was devoted to field experiences.
            Field experiences were useful supplements to other course work.
            Instructor supplied needed guidance for field experiences.
            The following field experience was helpful to my learning: (Enter each name of experience below as a bullet point. Example)
            • Experience
            • Experience
            • Experience
              The following field experience was appropriate for this course: (Enter each name of experience below as a bullet point. Example)
              • Experience
              • Experience
              • Experience

                Open:

                Which field experiences were especially effective for your learning?
                What outcomes did you experience as a result of course field experiences?
                What changes would you suggest in how field experiences are used in this course?
                Are there any learning experiences that could be added or dropped to increase course effectiveness?

                Scale:

                Course grading policies were clearly explained.
                Instructor's expectations for student performance were clearly explained.
                Grading system was consistent with course objectives.
                The grading system was fair.
                Early and frequent feedback was given during the course.
                Assignments were graded according to the announced system.
                Assignments were returned promptly.
                Instructor provided helpful comments on my writing.
                Instructor graded problem sets fairly.
                Feedback given on assignments was useful in helping to gauge my strengths and weaknesses.
                Instructor's expectations for student performance were realistic.
                Instructor's measures to prevent academic misconduct were sufficient.
                Feedback on the following assignment was helpful: (Enter each name of assignment below as a bullet point. Example)
                • Assignment
                • Assignment
                • Assignment
                  Grading criteria for the following assignment were clear: (Enter each name of assignment below as a bullet point. Example)
                  • Assignment
                  • Assignment
                  • Assignment

                    Open:

                    What suggestions do you have for the instructor regarding the frequency of feedback?
                    In what specific ways did instructor feedback help or hinder your progress in this course?
                    What changes would you suggest in the course grading system?
                    How helpful were course policies in enabling students to discuss differences in grading with the instructor?
                    Did you have any concerns about academic misconduct during the course? If so, please describe.

                    Scale:

                    Course goals were clearly presented.
                    Course goals were appropriate for this course.
                    Course goals were useful in helping me to focus my efforts.
                    Learning activities were relevant to course goals.
                    Course content was consistent with course goals.
                    Instructor was responsive to suggestions on course goals.
                    The following goal was appropriate for this course: (Enter each goal below as a bullet point. Example)
                    • 1st goal
                    • 2nd goal
                    • 3rd goal
                      The following goal was met in this course: (Enter each goal below as a bullet point. Example)
                      • 1st goal
                      • 2nd goal
                      • 3rd goal

                        Open:

                        Please comment on other goals that you think the instructor should consider for this course:
                        Would you recommend a clarification of any goal or charge in emphasis among the goals?

                        Scale:

                        Group projects were helpful in reaching course goals.
                        Group projects were well organized.
                        Group projects were stimulating.
                        Group projects provided good experience in applying course ideas.
                        Instructor provided clear guidelines for group work.
                        Group work helped students to learn from each other.
                        Instructor facilitated group interaction.
                        The following group project was helpful to my learning: (Enter each name of the project below as a bullet point. Example)
                        • Project
                        • Project
                        • Project
                          The following group activity was very effective: (Enter each name of group activity below as a bullet point. Example)
                          • Activity
                          • Activity
                          • Activity

                            Open:

                            Describe the learning advantages and disadvantages that you experienced in this class through working in groups.
                            What suggestions do you have for the instructor for designing and facilitating group activities to enhance learning?
                            How did you feel about assignment of group members and contributions of other members?
                            Do you feel groups should be continued for this course? Explain why or why not.

                            Scale:

                            Activities were well chosen and well organized.
                            Procedures or techniques were clearly explained or demonstrated.
                            Criticism of procedures or techniques was constructive.
                            Assistance was available when I needed it.
                            Activities developed important disciplinary skills.
                            Activities were of an appropriate level of difficulty.
                            Equipment available for activities was adequate.
                            Instructor's emphasis on safety was reasonable.
                            Other course work was linked to laboratory, clinical, or studio component.
                            Labs, studios, or clinical experiences complemented other course activities.
                            Purpose of lab, studio, or clinical experiences was clear.
                            The following activity was helpful to my learning: (Enter each name of experience below as a bullet point. Example)
                            • Experience
                            • Experience
                            • Experience
                              The following activity was appropriate for this course: (Enter each name of experience below as a bullet point. Example)
                              • Experience
                              • Experience
                              • Experience

                                Open:

                                Which activities were especially effective for your learning?
                                What did you learn as a result of course activities?
                                What changes would you suggest in how activities are used in this course?
                                Which activities could be dropped without hurting the learning experience?

                                Scale:

                                Course helped open new areas of knowledge to me.
                                Course developed my understanding of concepts and principles.
                                Course provided me with useful factual knowledge.
                                Course stimulated me to think critically.
                                Course helped me develop rational decision-making abilities.
                                Course helped develop my creative capacity.
                                Course helped me to develop spoken language skills.
                                Course developed my writing ability.
                                Course helped to enhance my reading skills.
                                Course developed my research skills in the discipline.
                                Course helped develop my problem-solving ability.
                                Course helped develop skills, techniques, or views I need in this field.
                                Course provided a healthy challenge to former attitudes.
                                Course helped develop responsibility and self-discipline in me.
                                Course stimulated my interest in further courses in area.
                                Course helped me develop more positive feelings toward this subject.
                                Course was important to my academic program.
                                Course contributed significantly to my professional growth.
                                As a result of this course, I became better at: (Enter each outcome below as a bullet point. Example)
                                • First outcome
                                • Second outcome
                                • Third outcome
                                  Course was most helpful in assisting me to develop the following skill: (Enter each skill below as a bullet point. Example)
                                  • First skill
                                  • Second skill
                                  • Third skill

                                    Open:

                                    What were the chief learning outcomes for you in this course?
                                    What knowledge and skills did this course help you to acquire?
                                    How do you think the knowledge and skills you acquired in this course will help you in the future?
                                    What was the most productive learning event of this course for you?

                                    Scale:

                                    Presentations were well organized.
                                    Instructor spoke clearly and audibly.
                                    Instructor's command of English was adequate.
                                    Instructor presented material at an appropriate pace.
                                    Instructor presented material at an appropriate level.
                                    Instructor showed enthusiasm for teaching the course.
                                    Instructor's explanations were clear.
                                    Content was presented in an interesting manner.
                                    Instructor used good examples and illustrations.
                                    Instructor emphasized particularly important course material.
                                    Instructor helped clarify difficult material.
                                    Instructor clarified importance of course topics.
                                    Instructor related course material to practical situations.
                                    Instructor distinguished clearly among fact, theory, and opinion.
                                    The following guest presenter contributed to my learning in the course: (Enter each presenter name below as a bullet point. Example)
                                    • Ms. Smith
                                    • Dr. Jones
                                    • Mr. Lee
                                      The following topic was presented well: (Enter each topic below as a bullet point. Example)
                                      • First topic
                                      • Second topic
                                      • Third topic
                                        The following topic was not presented clearly: (Enter each topic below as a bullet point. Example)
                                        • First topic
                                        • Second topic
                                        • Third topic

                                          Open:

                                          Please comment on the instructor's presentation skills (clarity of speech, volume of speech, rate of speech, mannerisms, and the like).
                                          Please comment on the extent to which the instructor communicated in a way that enabled understanding.
                                          Please comment on qualities that you liked or would suggest for improvement regarding the instructor's presentations.
                                          Please indicate which topics were treated especially well and which were not treated well.

                                          Scale:

                                          Textbook was a good choice.
                                          Textbook was readable.
                                          Supplemental reading was well-chosen.
                                          Assigned reading was important for understanding course material.
                                          Assigned reading complemented instructor's presentation.
                                          Assigned reading was readily available.
                                          Assigned reading was of high quality.
                                          Assigned reading was current.
                                          Amount of required reading was reasonable.
                                          Assigned reading was culturally inclusive.
                                          The following text or article was a good choice for this course: (Enter each reading below as a bullet point. Example)
                                          • Bookname
                                          • Bookname
                                            I preferred: (Enter each name of text to name of text below as a bullet point. Example)
                                            • Article A to Article B
                                            • Article C to Article D
                                              I think that the following text should be eliminated in future course offerings: (Enter each reading below as a bullet point. Example)
                                              • Reading
                                              • Reading
                                              • Reading
                                                I think that the following text should be used again in future course offerings: (Enter each reading below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                • Reading
                                                • Reading
                                                • Reading

                                                  Open:

                                                  Please comment on the following reading(s) , being as specific as possible about its effect on your learning: (Enter each reading below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                  • Reading
                                                  • Reading
                                                  • Reading
                                                    Which course texts would you recommend adding or eliminating and why?

                                                    Scale:

                                                    Instructor's relationship with students was characterized by mutual respect.
                                                    Instructor motivated me to work effectively.
                                                    Instructor treated students fairly.
                                                    Instructor was able to recognize student needs and problems.
                                                    Instructor was responsive to individual interests and abilities as well as total class needs.
                                                    Instructor was available to students.
                                                    Instructor showed patience toward students.
                                                    Instructor-student relationship was characterized by a high degree of: (Enter each characteristic below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                    • Characteristic
                                                    • Characteristic
                                                    • Characteristic

                                                      Open:

                                                      Comment on how you feel the instructor related to you as a student.
                                                      What particular strengths or limitations did the instructor have in establishing a positive classroom learning environment?
                                                      Please comment on the extent to which you felt comfortable in asking the instructor for help or pursuing course-related ideas outside class.

                                                      Scale:

                                                      Handouts were valuable supplements to course.
                                                      Use of technology (overheads, presentation software, live web access, charts, etc.) enhanced my learning in this course.
                                                      The quality and size of visuals enabled clear viewing.
                                                      Models, samples, or demonstrations were helpful for learning.
                                                      Films or videos used in course aided learning.
                                                      Writing and drawing at board were legible.
                                                      Audiovisual media were used when appropriate.
                                                      Course web site was helpful.
                                                      Electronic communication (e-mail, listserves, newsgroups, etc.) was used effectively in the course.
                                                      Instructor helped students to use new technology.
                                                      The following media were used effectively in this course: (Enter each media type below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                      • Overhead
                                                      • Powerpoint
                                                      • Video
                                                        The following video/film was helpful to my learning in this course: (Enter each name of a film/video below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                        • Film
                                                        • Film
                                                        • Film

                                                          Open:

                                                          What specific use of visual aids would you single out as particularly helpful to your learning in this course?
                                                          What topic or subject matter was enhanced by the use of visuals in this course?
                                                          What suggestions would you make for the use of technology in this course?

                                                          Scale:

                                                          I am pleased with the amount of effort I devoted to this course.
                                                          I attended class regularly.
                                                          I gave class activities my full attention.
                                                          I completed all course readings on schedule.
                                                          I completed all course assignments.
                                                          Compared with other courses, I devoted a great deal of effort to this course.
                                                          This course was a priority for me throughout the quarter.
                                                          I was receptive to the learning possibilities offered by this course.
                                                          I devoted a lot of effort to the following course activity: (Enter each activity below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                          • Activity
                                                          • Activity
                                                          • Activity
                                                            I could have done better in attending to the following aspect of the course: (Enter each aspect below as a bullet point. Example)
                                                            • Aspect
                                                            • Aspect
                                                            • Aspect

                                                              Open:

                                                              In what ways did you succeed in devoting a high amount of effort to this course?
                                                              In what ways could you have devoted more effort to this course?
                                                              Were there events or conditions that prevented you from devoting your attention and effort to this course? If so, what were they?
                                                              What things inspired or motivated you to devote your attention and effort to this course?

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                                                              Preview

                                                              Collecting Feedback | When and How

                                                              Course feedback can be collected at any time you think appropriate. Early feedback (at midterm or before) is most helpful in suggesting changes that can be made during the offering of the course and is thus likely to positively influence course success and final student ratings. The use of a questionnaire can also be supplemented by other methods during the term, such as asking students at the end of a given class to provide brief written comments on the perceived effectiveness of that class or appointing a course committee to provide feedback at various intervals.

                                                              Administering Survey

                                                              Unlike a summative instrument, such as the SEI, which is intended for personnel purposes, the FYI diagnostic questionnaire is for your purposes alone. For this reason, security is not an issue and you do not need to have a person other than yourself distribute and collect the questionnaires. You will want students to answer honestly and to know that what they say will not influence your attitude toward them, so you will probably want replies to be anonymous. If you think handwriting would interfere with anonymity, you might ask the students to respond to the questionnaire between classes using a computer for the open-ended items. If you think your presence would also inhibit responses, the out-of-class option would be helpful. You can also arrange for forms to be returned to a third party who will hold them until after the course grades are turned in, if you think this will increase student honesty. Be sure to give students enough time to answer thoughtfully, particularly if open-ended items are used. Some instructors may want to use a take-home option, asking that the form be completed between class sessions.

                                                              Compiling Results

                                                              Since this information is for your own use, you can compile the results yourself and obtain quick feedback. If you have a very large class and are using scaled items only, you can have the students use scannable response sheets, which can be purchased from Stores. These will be scanned free by the Office of Testing at the University Registrar, which will provide results to you. If you are hand-scoring the completed forms, tabulate the scaled items to compute the number of responses in each category (SA, A, N, D, SD). If computing a mean will help you to understand the results, do this by multiplying each response in a given category by an assigned point value for each category (SA=5, A=4, N=3, D=2, and SD=1). Then, add up the responses and divide by the total responses. An example is below:

                                                              For a class of 25 students, the response set for the question, "Exam questions were clear,” contains two students’ choice of “Strongly Disagree," three students’ choice of “Disagree," fourteen students’ choice of “Agree," and six students’ choice of "Strongly Agree." Using the following formula fill in the appropriate numbers to generate the average: ((# of students giving SD Rating*1(SD Rating)) + (# of students giving D Rating*2(D Rating)) + (# of students giving N Rating*3(N Rating)) + (# of students giving A Rating*4(A Rating)) + (# of students giving SA Rating*5(SA Rating)))/total # of responses = Average rating; ((2*1)+(3*2)+(0*3)+(14*4)+(6*5))/25 = 3.76 Rating

                                                              Interpreting the Results

                                                              When scores are less than “Agree” the course or instructor characteristic is not getting the desired student response. If the reasons for this response are not clear from open-ended information or other information available to the instructor, dialogue with the students is important. A consultant from the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) may be called to help elicit reasons for low ratings on certain items or to suggest strategies for addressing low ratings. In the case of open-ended items, it is useful to group these by item and look for patterns. If, for example, more than half of the responses to a question on the value of course readings identifies a certain text as being poorly written or difficult to understand, this is important information for course improvement. If only one student mentions this factor, the opinion of other students on this specific text should be solicited or reasons for mentioning this text should be sought in an in-class conversation following the feedback. Once again, a consultant from University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) may be asked to help summarize and interpret results.

                                                              Using the Results

                                                              Even when there are no ambiguous results, it is helpful to talk with students about questionnaire results so that you can respond to them about what changes you can make, which ones you cannot, and reiterate your goals for the course. Such conversations demonstrate your commitment to the course and help clarify your intentions for the course. They also communicate the message that students will be heard and that they are active participants in the success of the course. Asking students to reflect on their own efforts (amount of study time, class attendance and participation, and the like) when a course is being evaluated underlines this notion of joint responsibility. Your analysis of student feedback is for your own purposes and should not be included in portfolios or materials intended for personnel purposes unless you want to show a pattern of improvement or continuing efforts to know about the effects of your teaching. When this is the case, a descriptive statement rather than raw results should be used, since the methods for collecting the information, the reliability and comparability of different items, and the method of analysis were not controlled. You might also ask a peer to look over the raw results and write a summary of the direction of the findings when you want to make use of information collected for improvement purposes at a time when a personnel decision (merit pay, promotion) is being made.