Lightning round evaluation

Subject: Linguistics. Course: Instructor course in Understanding Linguistics. Study level: BA 1st semester. Class size: 15-25.

Motivation for the activity

Alignment of expectations and evaluation between the lecturer and the students are essential for good teaching, but this can easily take too much time and end up being unproductive. A lightning round evaluation can be used as a starting point for dialogue or as a quick tester of the general opinion about the teaching.

Description of the activity

The students are presented with the question: “I would like to hear your thoughts on how the teaching works for you."

They then get the following instruction: Fill out two post-it notes. On one you write one thing that you think works really well and on the other one thing that you believe could be improved.

As the lecturer you will have to be very specific as to what is being evaluated. Is it a particular teaching activity, the general teaching method or something else?

Pass around post-its and give the students 5 minutes to write down their thoughts.

The post-it notes are then collected.

The lecturer reads the evaluation after class. If you are doing an interim evaluation it is a good idea to have a dialogue about the evaluation on the next class. The different points can be used to align the expectations of the students and the teacher for the rest of the semester.

Delphi-evaluation 

If you have more time and want a better knowledge of how many agree on the different statement, you can do a Delphi-evaluation.

A Delphi-evaluation begin as a regular lightning round evaluation, but instead of the teacher simply collecting the notes right away, the post-its are passed around to all students in the class. Each student reads the notes and put an x at the bottom of the paper if he/she agrees with the statement. If the student does not agree with the statement the note is simply passed on.  

The lecturer takes home the notes, reads them and follow up on the points in the following class. If the activity is used as a final evaluation of a course the lecturer can summarise the points in an e-mail and send it to the students.

Outcome of the activity

A lightning round evaluation gives you:

  • An evaluation that is not very time consuming
  • An evaluation that does not develop into an unproductive discussion. The lecturer can take home the notes and prepare a dialogue which uses the evaluations as a starting point
  • A quick assessment of the students’ opinions, also the opinions of those that do not speak up in class.

A Delphi-evaluation gives you:

  • A greater knowledge of how many students in the class agree with the different statements
  • A questionnaire where the questions and themes are chosen by the students themselves. 

Reflections on the activity

The activity can also be varied and used to test the students’ understanding of a topic. Instead of asking for an evaluation, the students are asked to write down the most important point of the day on one post-it and a question about something that they are still uncertain about on the other. Afterwards you can put all of the points on the blackboard and have a discussion about them, or pass the questions around, so that the rest of the class can answer them. 

Contributor

Vibe Louise Kromann, student teacher at the Linguistics Department. 

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