Open rounds require that you allocate teaching time for each student to in turn comment on central elements of the course. This method can unveil several different perspectives within student groups. This method of oral student evaluation is meant to be informal and easy to conduct. It can be challenging to conduct this method on larger student groups, which makes it most suitable for small student groups.
Open rounds should only be used as a supplement to other forms of teaching evaluation. This is because students should be able to assess their course anonymously.
How to use this method
- Let the students take part in the planning of open rounds and in the formulation of questions.
- The evaluation should be conducted midway through the course so that students have had time to acquire a reasonable sense of how you teach.
- You should also make sure that there is time left to implement changes based on student feedback while the course is still in progress.
- Conduct the evaluation in a lesson where attendance is expected to be high. Avoid conducting open rounds at the end of or after the lesson.
- Announce the evaluation rounds beforehand, preferably together with an agenda, so that students can prepare feedback.
- Try to formulate in writing what you want the students to evaluate. This can make processing the feedback easier.
- Remember that general questions can produce vague answers. Make sure that your questions are clear and specific in order to receive concrete answers.
The students should be allowed to abstain from participating in open rounds, and they should also have the opportunity to repeat comments that have already been presented. The participants should also feel free to provide feedback without response from others.
- Students that wish to abstain from participating in open rounds can deliver their feedback directly to their student representative or teacher.
Summarize the comments received and make them available to the students. Comment on possible actions you plan to take in response to the feedback, or explain why certain suggested changes are not relevant for the course or cannot be implemented for other reasons.