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What are common issues students raise about their courses and instructors?

When collecting Midterm Student Feedback, what are common issues that students raise about the course or the instructor?  Based on surveys of thousands of students at Embry-Riddle, here are some common concerns and suggestions that students have raised:

  • talking too fast, writing too fast, pace is too fast
  • boring Powerpoints, lectures, want more interactivity in class
  • skipping steps when working through a problem, assuming background knowledge they don’t have
  • homework too hard, exams too hard compared to examples in class
  • want more examples, practice problems
  • clearer guidelines on what is expected of them, what to study, how they will be graded
  • too much theory, or conversely, not enough conceptual explanations, not enough ‘big picture’ information to contextualize lessons
  • want more group work/discussion, or conversely, less group work
  • want more feedback on their exams or homework, more reviews
  • want feedback and grades quicker, taking too long to give them their grades
  • too much readings, readings not incorporated into class or relevant to class
  • provide more reminders for deadlines, daily overviews, objectives

Sometimes students suggest things that may be out of your control, but you may want to bring it up with your department.  For example:

  • poor facilities, classroom space, technology
  • not enough tutors, not enough tutoring hours
  • not enough computers, lab space
  • curriculum overlap between your course and another course
  • can’t access software from home

What about the converse question?  What are common problems that instructors see with their students?  See CMU’s Solve a Teaching Problem site for a list of some common teaching issues, such as students not doing the reading or coming late to class.

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