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Conversations with Colleagues: Making Sense of Student Feedback Series

The Making Sense of Student Feedback series is designed to explore various approaches to making sense of student feedback, identify individual strategies to gather student feedback, and examine ways to document and present student feedback. Join your academic colleagues in conversations to enhance your teaching development.

Collecting student feedback through class representatives

Student feedback is typically collected at end of term, which helps instructors make changes for future classes but is too late to help address issues during the term. Interpreting end-of-term summative feedback can also be challenging due to lack of dialog with students. In this webinar, you will learn about an alternative approach in which instructors collect formative feedback throughout a course from students utilizing a class-representatives approach. Both instructor and student perspectives will be presented and discussed. 

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe a ‘class representative’ approach to collecting student feedback
  • Explain the benefits of this approach for both students and instructors
  • Reflect on how you could incorporate class representatives in your classroom

Facilitators: Dr. Heather Addy, PhD and Matthew Chu, BSc student
Date: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022
Time: 12–1 p.m
Moderator: Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD

Instructor response to student feedback: Opportunities for development

Student feedback about a course can be challenging to receive. Despite the known biases of this feedback, and even when most of the feedback is positive, it is not uncommon for instructors to focus on the critical and negative comments. In this webinar, participants will reflect on the process of receiving course feedback from students, starting from the initial reaction to planning implementation. This seminar will explore how instructors can leverage positive feedback, approach critical feedback and deal with a growth mindset and a lens for mental and professional well being.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe some of the psychology behind receiving feedback
  • Explain how to “process” student feedback
  • Describe strategies for dealing with student feedback that is in-actionable or personal
  • Reflect on how you can apply both positive and critical student feedback

Facilitator: Dr. Fabiola Aparicio-Ting, MPH PhD
Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Time: 12–1 p.m.
Moderator: Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD

Upcoming sessions

Bias in feedback

Date: Winter 2023
Facilitator: Dr. Jason Wiens, PhD

Interpreting and documenting formative and summative student comments

Date: Spring 2023
Facilitator: TBC

Presenter bios

Teaching Professor Emerita
Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
University of Calgary

Heather Addy PhD is a Teaching Professor Emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences, who taught at the University of Calgary for 24 years. Her experiences in her first year of teaching at U of C led her to incorporate class representatives into her subsequent courses, including very large introductory courses as well as smaller senior-level classes.

Matthew Chu is a 4th year Biological Sciences major. Matthew was a class representative in Heather’s BIOL 435 (Biology of Fungi) class in the Fall 2021 term.

Dr. Fabiola Aparicio-Ting (she/her), MPH PhD, is and Associate Professor, Teaching and Associate Head for Education in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and Director for Health & Society in the BHSc (hon) program at the Cumming School of Medicine. She has been teaching since 2007, with a focus on teaching public health and health equity in course the span all four years of the BHSc program. Her experience includes teaching large interdisciplinary courses, inquiry-based courses, small seminar-style courses, and capstone courses.

Professor (Teaching)
Department of English, Faculty of Arts
University of Calgary

Dr. Cheryl Jeffs, EdD, is an educational development consultant and academic staff at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary. Her commitment to excellence in teaching and learning is through a range of educational programs and initiatives, collaborative projects, and research interests.