Feedback culture tip 3: Why (and how) to respond to course feedback?

Have you ever wondered why and how to respond to course feedback from students? At Aalto University, student feedback is an important part of an inclusive teaching and learning culture, and it is supported by the following principles: feedback is interactive, impactful, and streamlined. With these principles, we hope to build an open feedback culture where feedback is constructively and easily given and actively discussed and utilized to promote interaction and development of teaching and learning.

For the feedback to be actively discussed, it is important that you, as a teacher, respond to it. Responding to course feedback strengthens the feedback culture at Aalto and getting responses is rewarding to the students.

It is important to respond to course feedback given by students for several reasons:

1. Acknowledgment: Responding to feedback acknowledges that students’ opinions and perspectives are valued and taken seriously, fostering a sense of respect and validation among students.

2. Motivation: When students see that their feedback leads to positive changes or improvements in the course, they feel motivated to provide constructive feedback in the future, creating a cycle of continuous improvement.

3. Trust and respect: Responding to feedback builds trust and respect between the teacher and students. It shows that the teacher is approachable, receptive to input, and genuinely cares about the students’ learning experience.

4. Stronger feedback culture: Every time we open the discussion by giving feedback or answering to it, we take part in building a stronger feedback culture in our organization.

If responding to course feedback was not part of your routine before, you might wonder how to do it. Responding to mid-course feedback can be done during the course, for example by sharing it and discussing it together with students. Responding to end-of-course feedback, however, differs from mid-course feedback because end-of-course feedback can be given after the course ends, and therefore it is not always possible to address it during the course. For that reason, our newly launched course feedback tool allows you to easily write and publish answers to end-of-course feedback. You can publish the survey results to respondents within 4 weeks of the survey closing in the “Reporting” tab of the survey, and respond to the feedback with single or common responses. In summary, responding to course feedback is not only vital for nurturing an open feedback culture but is also made effortlessly accessible through the course feedback tool.

This blog post is part of Teacher Services’ ongoing series Feedback culture tips. At Aalto University, course feedback holds a distinctive place within our feedback portfolio, reaching students at every stage of their studies. We firmly believe in the importance of amplifying students’ voices, considering it a fundamental aspect of teaching and education development. Consequently, course feedback is seamlessly integrated into our educational landscape, constituting a consistent element from the course’s inception, throughout its duration, and up to its conclusion. Read more: Course feedback in Aalto University | Aalto University.

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