Proposal 22-16

The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Proposal 22-16
(Voting Units: Academic)

“Proposal to Amend Senate Policy 505.1 Policy on Early Term Surveys" 

PDF version of Proposal 22-16


To increase the feedback and communication between students and faculty, and to demonstrate real and perceived change within the class, the following amendments are suggested by the Academic and Instructional Policy Committee.  The faculty feel the early term survey is a more effective method for addressing classroom inclusion than end of term surveys because it allows for a dialog to clear confusion and immediately address and correct concerns. Addressing issues in the course of the class allows students to see change based on their feedback where any changes based on end of term surveys are likely invisible to students.


A. Introductory Statement  It is the purpose of this policy to facilitate continuing improvement in faculty instruction and inclusion at Michigan Technological University. Properly implemented, it will provide students a formal mechanism to provide constructive feedback early in a teaching term for the immediate identification of ways of improving a course in progress, including a need for supplemental material, difficulties with classroom presentations, or other elements of a particular course, and classroom environment. The feedback device is a written survey of the students, administered and read by the instructor alone.

B. Administering the Early-Term Survey  It is recommended that each class of 10 or more students be supplied with a simple instructional survey form early in the semester. This could be done as an attachment to the course syllabus, or as a handout. During the fourth or fifth week of the semester the instructor would encourage students to complete the survey and turn it in at a convenient location. The survey could also be completed during class time or through an online form. The surveys should be collected to maintain student anonymity if the students wish.

It is recommended that these three questions be used as part of the survey:

What is good about this course? What about this course, or my teaching, is helping you to learn?

How could it be better? What could I change about this course, or my teaching, that would improve your learning?

How can we (you as a student and I as the instructor) improve the classroom environment to make this class more inclusive?

Faculty may add additional questions to the survey to elicit student opinions on particular attributes of the course, e.g., on course materials, teaching methods, presentation style, pedagogical methods, etc.

C. Evaluation of the Survey  After administering the survey, the instructor should read the responses noting frequently-mentioned items, and substantive criticisms and suggestions. It would be incumbent on the faculty member to take the appropriate steps to correct problems identified. The faculty member is also encouraged to discuss in class the notable points made by the students, indicating whether and how the course might be modified.

Disposition of the survey forms is at the instructor's discretion.

Introduced to Senate: March 2, 2016
Approved by Senate: March 23, 2016
Approved by Administration: April 6, 2016