Gathering Feedback from Students

Ways of gathering feedback from students on their experiences

Instructional Challenge

During instruction, it may be helpful to solicit feedback from students on their experiences with the course to see where and if students are struggling and what changes you may need to make. The tips presented here address the questions: How can you understand your students’ experiences with your course? How can you gather and respond to students’ feedback during the semester?


Quick Guide: Gathering Feedback from Students

How can you understand your students’ experiences in the course? What are some easy ways to gather and respond to students’ feedback during the semester? This guide addresses gathering formative feedback throughout the semester. For end-of-semester summative evaluations, see more information about course evaluation surveys.


  1. Develop a short survey for students. Create a Google Form or an anonymous Canvas survey with 1-3 questions. Distribute the survey to your students through a Canvas Announcement, Classlist email, synchronous session in the chat, or other means of regular communication.
    Use your UW Google Account
    Get Started with Google Forms
    Create an anonymous, ungraded Canvas survey
    Canvas Announcements, Classlist e-mail
    Sample survey — you can make a copy with this link (using Google Forms)
  2. Create synchronous meetings for informal discussions. You may consider online office hours as a way for students to ask you questions, but it can also be a chance to ask them questions and check in with each other. If you are using Zoom in Canvas, ask questions using the poll feature or ask students to chat to express how they feel about something said or shared during a session.
    Zoom via Canvas Integration
    UW-Madison Zoom - Getting started (
  3. Set up an ongoing asynchronous discussion forum. Use a Canvas Discussion or Piazza folder (if you already use Piazza in your course) to create a discussion forum for students to respond to check-in questions or provide you with feedback. Keep in mind that Canvas Discussions are not anonymous, so students may be more hesitant to provide honest feedback.
    Primer on Canvas Discussions
    Piazza (This tool provides the ability to post anonymously.)
  4. Respond to the feedback. After you have gathered and reviewed the feedback, share with students what, if anything, you plan to adjust in the class as a result of their feedback. Also, consider sharing resources that they might find useful as they adjust to the course.
    Responding to feedback – Stanford University

Further Exploration

Keywordsfeedback, course design, learning environment, content deliveryDoc ID103762
OwnerTimmo D.GroupInstructional Resources
Created2020-07-08 12:58:00Updated2024-04-16 16:09:10
SitesCenter for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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