SFQ Questions

The following statements/questions could be asked for student feedback:

  1. Before this course began, my level of interest in this course was:
  2. Currently, my level of interest in this course is:
  3. Overall, I would rate this faculty member’s teaching as:
  4. Overall, I would rate the quality of this course as:
  5. Overall, I feel I am learning and understanding the subject material in this class.
  6. If you would like to provide specific comments/suggestions regarding your overall learning experience in this course.

Interest In the Course (Current and Previously) (Q26; Q27)

To determine the impact of your course, review the response to level of interest before this course began (Q26) in comparison to the current level of interest (Q27).

Some important points of consideration to shape your reflection on the scores in this area:

  • The current level of interest is less important, unless their interest level moved. Even a shift from low to medium is a positive outcome. Any movement from lower to higher is a success for student engagement. You cannot control their opinion coming into the course, so focus on moving their level of interest throughout the course.
  • If you see a decrease in interest you may wish to evaluate where the students were in the course at the point of survey administration (e.g., was it right after starting a new, challenging unit or concept). Reflect on the other consistent answers within the SFQ, is there a root cause that can be identified? You also may consider implementing an informal feedback method part way through the next iteration of the course to gather actionable feedback.
  • Consider when the SFQ was administered and any other similarities in scores. For example, was the SFQ issued after a particularly challenging mid-term exam and the SFQ rating for assessment was also low. Could this score reflect that assessment, not the course overall?

Rating of the faculty members teaching, overall course quality impression and understanding of subject material (Q28; Q29; Q30)

This can be an emotionally and mentally challenging score for some faculty to review. We all want to do the best for our students, and it can be tough to hear feedback that may be less than favourable. These are important moments to step back to consider all of the variables that may have impacted that score.

Receiving negative feedback on your teaching can feel hurtful, however, try to look at it as you would for a colleague. If it helps, have a trusted colleague look at your results first, and then you can dissect it together. There are times when you will have students not feel that you are an effective teacher, focus on the majority, not the outliers. Reflect on correlations between these questions and previous categories. If you note a connection, consider the SFQ category where you saw a decrease or concerning evaluation, and review any suggestions provided within that section.

According to the best practices at Durham College, self-reflection is an important professional development strategy that should be engaged in as your semester progresses and when reviewing the feedback you receive. Remember, the CTL at Durham College is a wonderful resource to help you constructively and productively consider how you are teaching and designing your curriculum, and assess if there are better ways to support student success. You may wish to attend a workshop, schedule a 1:1 appointment, or request an informal classroom observation to provide constructive feedback. Capitalizing on the teaching and learning expertise in the CTL may help you progress your teaching practice, offer new and innovative ways to engage students, and support redevelopment of your assessment strategies, all of which can have a positive impact not only on your SFQ scores, but also on your satisfaction and enjoyment in teaching.

Some additional considerations for when you are reflecting on your semester as you progress through, and when reviewing your SFQ results:

  • Consider requesting a Mentor from a seasoned faculty member. CTL can facilitate this in collaboration with your program coordinator or associate dean.
  • Consider participating in Teaching Squares to obtain informal feedback from peers that is immediately actionable, and see what your colleagues are doing in their classrooms.
  • Consider tracking your year over year scores. Have you seen a decline in a particular area? What could be the cause of it? What could you do to improve it going forward?
  • Consider using informal feedback methods to obtain actionable data from the students, including Start Stop Continue surveys at strategic points in the semester.

Exemplary teaching is the cornerstone of Durham College. The college strives to provide students with the best possible education to set them up for success as they move into their working lives. In recent conversations with several Executive Deans at Durham College, continual self-reflection was determined to especially important, not only around SFQ time, but in advance of the start of the course, throughout the semester, and upon course completion. By engaging in continuous reflection throughout the semester, areas of concern on the SFQ will not come as a surprise and will allow you critically evaluate where you were at the time, and where you want to be.