Mid-Term Assessment


Ideally, of course, there should be an ongoing conversation in any class about how things are going; do students see the connections between readings and writing? do they find paper comments helpful in revision? how can class discussion improve? Nevertheless, mid-term is a good opportunity for students and instructors to reflect on the class while there's still time to make changes.
 
Here are a few different methods of mid-term assessment:


Written evaluation

Ask students to write anonymous course evaluations as part of their homework. You might give them specific questions to respond to: What would you keep about our class? What would you change? What do you want to do more of? Less of? How would you describe the course/the instructor/readings/essay assignments/paper comments thus far?

Use the evaluations as the basis of a class discussion about how the course is going, or just read them yourself, looking for common themes.


 
Teaching Resource Center TAP

Trained graduate students from the Teaching Resource Center will come to your class and talk to students about their perceptions of the class (while you are out of the room). The TRC consultant helps students come to a consensus and clears up ambiguous answers. Afterwards, the consultant meets with you to discuss the results. TAPs take only 30 minutes of class time and 30 minutes of post-class discussion. They are completely confidential, and are a terrific way to hear student feedback. For more details about TAPs, check out http://www.trc.virginia.edu/Consultations/TAP.htm
 
Instructor-run TAP

This is essentially a TAP, but one with you in the room. It's great if you can't schedule a TAP; the drawback is that students may feel inhibited with you facilitating the discussion.

Ask students to get into groups of 3 or 4 and come up with lists of three things that help their learning in the class, and three things that hinder their learning. You might ask students to prepare these lists for homework. Everyone in the group should agree. Then ask students to put the lists up on the board. As a class, come up with a list of three in each category that everyone can agree on, and brainstorm strategies to change with the list of things that hinder learning.

Alternatively, ask students to come up with three things they want to change about the class, three things they want to keep.
 
Student Self-Evaluation

Ask students to fill out a form like the one on the page below. Students are more likely to be honest because the form is anonymous, and it still you a good sense of how things are going. Students also begin to take responsibility for their own performance in class. Use the results as the basis of a class discussion about the class (if no one is doing the reading, for example, start asking why: are readings are too hard/too easy/too confusing?).
 
(This form is adapted from one used by Bill McAllister in the History Department.)
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------DONOTWRITEYOURNAMEONTHISPAGEDONOTWRITEYOURNAMEONTHISP
 
Self-Evaluation
 
For each category, circle the appropriate description of your work in this class.
 
Before Class


Always Usually Sometimes Never I read assignments before the corresponding class

Always Usually Sometimes Never I take notes/underline while reading

Always Usually Sometimes Never I try to organize my thoughts about the reading before class
 
During Class


Always Usually Sometimes Never I attend class

Always Usually Sometimes Never If I am unable to attend class, I borrow notes from a reliable source

Always Usually Sometimes Never I take notes during class on what the instructor says or writes on the board

Always Usually Sometimes Never I take notes on other people's ideas

Always Usually Sometimes Never I participate in discussion

Always Usually Sometimes Never I make an effort to listen to my classmates while they speak

Always Usually Sometimes Never I make sure to ask questions/raise ideas that seem important to me  


Writing


Always Usually Sometimes Never I begin to think about possible essay topics while I read

Always Usually Sometimes Never I begin writing assignments before 9 pm the night before they're due

Always Usually Sometimes Never I leave myself time to revise my writing

Always Usually Sometimes Never I ask the instructor questions about my writing or ask the instructor to look at it before I'm done if I'm uncertain about my progress

Always Usually Sometimes Never I have visited the Writing Center

Always Usually Sometimes Never I read the instructor's comments carefully

 
ENWR and your life

Always Usually Sometimes Never I think about our theme even when I'm not dealing directly with work for the course

Always Usually Sometimes Never I have talked with others about our theme

Always Usually Sometimes Never I think about ENWR writing strategies even when I'm not dealing directly with work for the course

Always Usually Sometimes Never I have talked with others about ENWR writing strategies