How can we as instructors/professors learn quicker about what it is working and what is not?
Maybe more to the point: do we even want to?
When I began teaching, I realized I needed to learn more and quicker about how I am being received, how the course is working and what is (and what is not) helping students learn. A professor friend of mine shared a little trick which I have refined and adopted: the quick feedback form.
Here is what I do in class (you can let them know in advance):
Ask students to get out a half-sheet of paper.
I put the above image on a Ppt or draw it on the blackboard or whiteboard. They don't put their name on it. It's anonymous.
I give them 2 - 3 minutes to write out thoughts on their own.
I give them 5 minutes to share either in pairs or in small groups (no more than four students in a group) during which I leave the room telling them, "When I come back I want to hear from you."
I leave and come back 5 minutes later.
We discuss. I feel like the best and worst teacher on the planet as their comments fly at me like paper airplanes.
In a recent class, there was a near mutiny about the apparent horrible state of my Canvas page (the LMS we use at Penn State). And my "Announcement" which I send out with great eloquence and clarity are also a mess.
I came back to the room and after a flurry of compliments and kudos, a brave student mumbled something about "sometimes the announcement and assignments on Canvas are unclear." As soon as I thanked the student and showed sincere interest in feedback (when the rest of the class saw I would not shoot the messenger nor would I defend myself and make excuses), about half the class of 35 students raised their hands.
The courageous mumbling of a single student had struck a nerve and an opportunity for creative collaboration and improved learning and teaching.
It was not possible to address all their concerns in the moment so I asked if 2 - 3 of them would sit down with me next week, with one of their compute