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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

The importance of student feedback surveys

December 4, 2020

Every semester we are asked to fill out feedback surveys and I don’t know about you but I always ask myself “Why”? I reached out to some of your favourite professors to ask exactly that! The two questions they will be answering for you is “Why is it important for students to submit their course feedback surveys?” And “what do you do with this information?”

I would like to thank all the faculty members who took the time to write out such thoughtful responses to my questions, however, I was unable to include these answers fully for consideration of space. If you would like to read the responses in their entirety, please visit here.

“I can imagine that it may feel like the surveys don’t matter, so why do them. But they do matter.  The vast majority of professors really do care about delivering good courses. What students think matters to us.”

- Dr. Theresa Miedema, Faculty of Business and Information Technology

 “Feedback is one of the most effective reinforcers for changing human behavior […] even if you never take another course with that particular professor you are giving feedback to, you are [letting] professors know what they have done well and what they have done poorly.

- Dr. William Hunter, Faculty of Education

“I like to use it as part of my own process for making changes to courses for next time- I find it really useful to know what sorts of readings, assignments, and activities worked (and which ones didn’t!) so I can keep working on improving my courses each time they’re offered.

- Dr. Andrea Braithwaite, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities 

“It gives me a clear idea of what is working so I can build on that and keep doing more of it and also what isn't working, so I can make adjustments going forward.  I'm always asking myself if I'm delivering the course content in the best way possible and I will try slightly different things from year to year.

- Gavin Ball, Faculty of Business and Information Technology

“Students who take the time to give honest, constructive feedback can help us become better university teachers. Knowing what is— and what is not— working well in our approach to teaching is crucial if we are going to contribute to student learning.  And that is the whole reason why we’re here!”

- Dr. Thomas McMorrow, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

“I strive to make my lectures as effective and engaging as possible, especially when it comes to delivering complex materials. A lot of work goes into preparing lectures but ultimately, we can only get a sense of how they are when we hear directly from students.

- Dr. Carlos Rossa, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

“As students probably know themselves, getting feedback is how you learn from your mistakes, and although they might not want to admit it, your professors make plenty of mistakes when it comes to teaching. Thoughtful comments, both positive and negative, go a long way towards redeveloping and fine-tuning a course.

- Dr. Joseph MacMillan, Faculty of Science

“They are a key part of course development and trial and error experimentation, as they give instructors insight into what is and is not working in the classroom.”

- Dr. Scott Aquanno, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

“Without that feedback, professors have no way to identify the rooms for improvement and address the deficiencies. I would like to assure students that their comments are always read carefully and implemented toward building a more effective learning environment.”

- Dr. Sayyed Ali Hossein, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

 “Everyone enjoys positive feedback and it's nice when students say they really enjoyed the course and learned something.  It's especially useful when students make clear constructive (and respectful) comments on the course and how it might be improved.”

- Dr. Shahid Alvi, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities:

It is important to note, most if not all who responded made note of the “potential for implicit bias” (Miedema) as it relates to feedback surveys. One reason for this, as Dr. Miedema notes, is students fall into auto-pilot mode which allows for room for unconscious biases; with women and those with English as their second language scoring lower than their male anglophone colleagues (Hunter; MacMillan). The feedback given to professors through these surveys is “always read carefully and implemented toward building a more effective learning environment” (Hossein).

Visit the student course feedback surveys page to learn more. The survey is open until December 7, 2020. By completing it, you will be entered to win 1 of 5 gift cards worth $75.

My top 5 favourite quotes from these responses

“Graduate courses and grad students do not complete the course surveys”– Dr. William Hunter

“After all, the student's experience is paramount.” – Dr. Carlos Rossa

“student feedback is invaluable for my continued growth as a professor”– Gavin Ball

“They tell us something, and something is better than nothing.” – Dr. Shahid Alvi

Please remember that there is another human on the receiving end of the feedback you provide in the surveys” – Dr. Theresa Miedema