Stephen Brookfield designed a useful evaluative tool called a "Critical Incident Questionnaire" or CIQ. The idea is to provide students a quick way to provide anonymous feedback to the instructor on course content and presentation. I believe Brookfield suggests offering the CIQ at the end of class every day. In my Foundation Studies courses, I found it useful to use once a week for my class of 24 students. I adapted Brookfied's CIQ to my course and came up with the following questions:
- At what moment in class this week did you feel most interested in what was happening?
- At what moment in class this week were you most distanced from what was happening?
- What action that anyone (teacher or student) took this week did you find most affirming or helpful?
- What action that anyone took this week did you find most confusing?
- What about class this week surprised you the most? (This could be about your own reactions to what went on, something that someone did, or anything else that occurred.)
(Critical Incident Questionnaire.doc
attached, allows for two CIQs per A4, 2-sided.)
I handed out this form on the last day of class each week, allowed students five minutes to fill it out and collected it from them as they left the classroom. Sometimes I read their feedback before the next class, but usually I read the CIQs aloud in front of class at the next session. We discussed the feedback and decided together how to address any issues.
The students enjoyed providing feedback. They knew they could express their thoughts, which would be heard and acted on. At the end of the course, several students mentioned how useful the exercise was.