5-minute notes

The 5-minute note is an easy method for collecting student feedback about your teaching. Students write their opinions on a note that the teacher then collects and processes. This gives the student a possibility to identify the strengths of the course and any changes that would improve their learning. 

How to use the method:

  • The evaluation should be conducted midterm so that students can make an assessment based on experience, and so that you can make improvements accordingly before the semester ends.

  • Announce the evaluation beforehand so that students come prepared with recommendations.

  • The evaluation should be conducted before or midway through the lecture, in order to get as many answers possible.

  • Summarize the main points of the students’ comments, and spend a couple of minutes at the beginning of the next class to discuss possible actions both you and your students can take in response to those. 

Plain paper:

The simplest way to conduct the 5-minute evaluation is to hand out a plain sheet of A4-paper. The student can divide the paper into a + (plus) column and a – (minus) column. They then write down the course’s strengths in the plus-column and possible changes in the minus-column. Alternatively, you can also ask for a one sentence evaluation summarizing your teaching in the course so far, or with a grade on a scale from 1-6.

5 minute notes with short and few questions:

A slightly more advanced version of the 5-minute note is to develop a set of questions that the students must address. It is ideal to have as few questions as possible (maximum five) for each part you want students to evaluate.

Examples on open/general questions are:

  • Continue with – do more of:

  • Improve – do less of:

  • I have learnt this/benefitted from:

  • This is something that lacks:

Examples of more specific/closed questions

  • Do you see a correlation between learning aims and the teaching methods used?

  • If yes, - is this a method we should continue to use?

  • If no, - how can this correlation be improved?

  • What has been the most productive learning experience within this unit?

  • How do you assess the availability of practical information and help at the beginning of this course? 


Published 31. October 2016 - 18:00 - Updated 23. May 2017 - 19:18