Mid-Semester Feedback: Overview

The Mid-Semester Feedback tool is a Yale-developed survey tool created to specifically support Yale College faculty in the collection of anonymous student feedback during the midterm of the traditional fall and spring semesters. Despite the focus on Yale College, the tool is available to all schools who would like to use it.  

The Mid-Semester Feedback survey opens during a pre-designated, roughly 2 week period during the midterm of the semester, and allows students to complete a separate survey for each of their courses that offer the survey. Instructors can choose whether to use the survey (which is on by default) or disable it for each course they teach.  

If you do not see the Mid-Semester Feedback tool in your official Canvas course site, your school may have opted not to utilize this tool.  Contact your school's local support team for alternatives.  

Why use Mid-Semester Feedback?

Collecting feedback from students is a critical component to ensure that you and your students are getting the most out of your course. Feedback can be structured to confirm that students are understanding concepts presented in class and are comfortable with the format of the class and activities. Your students' feedback can inform and guide you on changes that you may need to make to help students be successful in your course.  

The Mid-Semester Feedback tool is a mechanism for instructors to collect valuable student feedback during the midterm of the course. Mid-Semester Feedback surveys are unique and can be customized for each course.

All Mid-Semester Feedback student submissions are fully-anonymous so that students can feel comfortable and confident in providing open and honest feedback to the instructor.

Use Cases for Mid-Semester Feedback

Mid-Semester Feedback is used specifically to collect feedback from students during the midterm. Below are topics for questions you might consider when preparing your survey:

  • Pacing of the course material
  • Appropriateness of the assignments and activities
  • Student comfort with the course content materials
  • Access to content / materials / technology / other resources
  • Satisfaction with Teaching Assistants / Fellows or other support staff
  • Suggestions for what students would like to see improved / changed
  • What aspects of the course are working well
  • What problems students are having
  • What successes students are experiencing
  • Other suggestions / comments
How do I use Mid-Semester Feedback in my course?

Click on a topic below to learn more about using the Mid-Semester Feedback tool in your Canvas courses.

Timing of Mid-Semester Feedback

The Mid-Semester Feedback dates are set globally for all courses and cannot be modified for a specific course, instructor, or student.  

The Mid-Semester Feedback tool is controlled by pre-designated dates which are selected before the term begins and are posted within the instructor view of the Mid-Semester Feedback Tool in Canvas.

To access the dates for your survey, click the "Mid-Semester Feedback" button [1] in the course navigation menu. You will see the dates in the "Feedback Schedule" section [2] of the main Mid-Semester Feedback page.

The pre-designated dates include:

  • Instructor Open Date - Date after which instructors can begin customizing their Mid-Semester Feedback surveys in each course. Typically instructors can begin customizing their surveys right after course sites are created for the semester up through the Course Question Deadline.
  • Course Question Deadline - Date after which instructors can no longer select / create / edit questions for the surveys.
  • Feedback Opens to Students Date - Date when students can begin submitting feedback.
  • Feedback Close Date - Date after which students can no longer submit feedback.
  • Submission Purge Date - Date when student submissions will be permanently deleted from the Mid-Semester Feedback tool. 
    • Instructors are encouraged to download their students' feedback prior to this date.
Enable / Disable Feedback Survey in Your Canvas course

By default, the Mid-Semester Feedback tool is enabled and will open to students in your courses on the pre-determined Feedback Open Date. If you have not customized the survey, students will be presented with the four default questions on that date (see the Managing Feedback Survey Questions section for the list of the default questions).

Instructors do have the ability to disable (and if necessary re-enable) the survey tool in their course if desired.

How to Disable the Mid-Semester Feedback Tool

To disable the Mid-Semester Feedback tool in your course, go to your course and click on the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] in the course navigation.

On the main page of the tool, click on the "Allow Student Access" toggle button [3] (put to the gray X "off" position) and then click "OK" in the pop-up to confirm that you want to disable the tool.

Alternative Method to Disable the Mid-Semester Feedback Tool

You can also disable the tool by removing the Mid-Semester Feedback tool from the course navigation menu. When the Instructor tool is removed, the student tool will not appear when the survey date opens.  

To remove the tool from your course navigation menu go to the "Settings" [1] area of your course and click the "Navigation" tab [2] across the top. Drag and drop the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [3] from the upper list of enabled items to the lower list of disabled items. When done click the "Save" button [4].

How to Re-enable Feedback Survey

If you want to re-enable the tool, go back to the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] and click on the "Allow Student Access" toggle button [4] (put to the green check mark "on" position).

Re-enable the tool by clicking on the toggle button to allow student access.
Managing Feedback Survey Questions

Instructors will need to go to the "Mid-Semester Feedback Survey" tool [1] and then go to the "Manage Questions" [5] link.  

Instructors can then pick up to four of the default questions [6]* by selecting the check box next to the desired questions. Once the default questions are selected, click "Save" [7] to save your selections.

Instructors can also create up to four custom open ended questions by click the "+Question" button [8]. Instructors will compose their questions in the pop-up that appears. Previews of existing saved questions [9] will appear on the page.  Instructors can make changes to their questions by clicking the "Modify" button [10] or the "Delete" button [11].

* If you do not disable or customize the Mid-Semester Feedback Survey questions in your course, the survey will open to students on the "Feedback Opens to Students" date and the survey will contain the following four default survey questions:

  • What is helping your learning in this class?
  • What elements of the class are hindering your learning?
  • What could the instructor change to improve your learning experience in this class?
  • What could you do differently to improve your learning experience in this class?
Viewing & Downloading Student Submissions

Instructors will not be notified when new submissions are recorded, so instructors will need to periodically check for new submissions via the Mid-Semester Feedback tool.

Instructors can begin viewing Student submissions immediately and read students submissions as they come in. To access these submissions instructors need to go to the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] and then click on "View Submissions" [12] link.

Once there, instructors can click "Download All Submissions" [14] to get a file containing the responses for all currently available submissions, or they can click on the submission dates for individual submissions [15] to view the submissions separately in the browser one at a time.  

Notifying Students About Mid-Semester Feedback

When announcing the Mid-Semester Survey, you may want to reiterate that all submissions are totally anonymous.  

Instructors should communicate with their students if they intend to use the Mid-Semester Feedback Tool. If you are using it, we strongly recommend that you announce the open date of the Mid-Semester Feedback survey to your students and encourage them to submit feedback for your course.

Although an event with a due date will appear on the Syllabus page under the Course Summary area and on the course Calendar, students may miss or ignore the survey if you do not discuss it with them directly.  

Mid-Semester Feedback listed as an activity in the Course Summary list.
What will my students see?

Students may see different things depending on the day when they click on the tool, and depending on whether or not you have enabled Mid-Semester Feedback in your course. Click on the topics below to see what your students will see for each scenario.

Before the Mid-Semester Feedback Survey Opens

Students will not be able to submit feedback before the survey opens. However, they will see the Mid-Semester Feedback tool in the course navigation menu. If the student attempts to open the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] before the survey opens, they will receive a message [2] letting them know when the survey will become available.

Once the Mid-Semester Feedback Survey Opens

As soon as the feedback open, students can click on the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] and then they will be presented with the course information [2] and your survey questions [3]. Once they have filled in their answers, they will need to click the "Submit" button [4] and then confirm their submission (click the "Yes" button [5] in the pop-up that appears) before their responses are posted.

Returning to the Mid-Semester Feedback Tool After Submitting Feedback (While the Survey is Still Open)

Student who have already submitted and return to the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] will see a message indicating that their "Feedback has been submitted" [2].

After Mid-Semester Feedback Survey Closes

Students who click on the "Mid-Semester Feedback" tool [1] after the feedback close date will see a message indicated that "The survey has ended" [2].

When Mid-Semester Feedback is Disabled in a Course

When an instructor opts to disable the Mid-Semester Feedback tool in their course, students will not see the Mid-Semester Feedback button in their course navigation menu at all.

Who can see the Mid-Semester Feedback submissions in my course?

All users with the role of "Instructor" in the Canvas course site's People tool will be able to view student submissions.

Mid-Semester Feedback submissions are NOT shared with departments, department chairs, DUS / DGS, registrar's office or any other university administrators. The feedback submitted to this tool is only visible to the course instructors.

Who can submit Mid-Semester Feedback in my course?

Only users with the role of "Student" or "Auditor" in the Canvas course site's People tool will be able to submit feedback.

Guest students, viewers, visitors, etc. will NOT be able to submit.

Can I find out which student submitted which response?

The Mid-Semester Feedback submissions are totally anonymous, which means that you will not be able to tell which student submitted which response.

Can students submit the survey more than once?

Students can only submit the Mid-Semester Feedback survey once per Canvas course.

Can I change the dates when the survey is offered?

The availability of Mid-Semester Feedback survey is controlled by the globally managed dates (which appear on the main page of the Mid-Semester Feedback tool for the instructor). These dates cannot be modified for individual courses or for individual students who miss the deadline.

For more help, please contact canvas@yale.edu.