This can be obtained by direct and indirect means. Here we give some examples of each.
- Feedback questionnaires
- Group discussions at the end of sessions
- Comments boards
- Focus groups
- Noting non-verbal behaviour during the session, e.g:
- eye contact (or lack of)
- background chatter (or lack of)
- excessive rustling or coughing (signs that students are not successfully engaged)
- interest in asking or answering questions
- are they responding to humour?
- are they yawning or asleep?
- are they engaging in the activities – or are they booking their train tickets for the weekend? (Remember – this may not necessarily be a reflection on your performance!)
- are they packing up and wishing to leave the session early?
- Evaluating student performance in exercises and assessed work. This helps you to gauge the effectiveness of your teaching in more tangibly measurable ways than by asking students their opinion. Evaluating student performance could be as simple as including informal class activities e.g. asking questions to check student learning along the way. The Assessment chapter covers the various options in more detail.
In the next section we’ll look specifically at designing questionnaires.