Mid-Semester Feedback from Students: Helpful and Unhelpful for Learning

Every semester, I give the same 3 questions on a survey, always after 1st test, before they get it back.

What do we do in class that is helpful for your learning? Why specifically is it helpful?

Working problems in class is helpful. Seeing you do problems is helpful, then working similar problems. It’s also good to see and hear what other people think is correct and having to defend those answers.

The conceptual discussion along with the clicker questions are helpful with gaining a theoretical understanding. The example problems that we work as a class are also helpful.

I really benefit from the clicker questions and whiteboard work. It’s helpful to discuss to get a feel for the different ways to look at a problem and why an answer works. Whiteboarding helps me because get to practice while having opportunity to asks classmates and/or teacher questions.

Whiteboarding problems are more helpful.

We actually apply what we learn versus solely being lecture to. I think it helps because it assists you in getting familiar with the problems and knowing the purpose of them.

That we solve problems as a class but also ones with our group. Also clicker questions also help a lot.

Problems we do in class, helps me understand how to apply concepts. Clicker questions help as well, gets in more practice, and you go over them which helps. I enjoy how you give us chances to get things right like going over how to setup a good pictorial representation.

Clicker questions are helpful. Working problems is helpful. Builds a good foundation on the concepts.

Working in groups has been beneficial, because it allows for more one on one help from peers.

I am more lecture-oriented. Therefore, I find lectures and class discussion very helpful, but I do enjoy working in groups and find it helpful most of the time.

The mathematics portion of the class is helpful.

I like the labs and the problem solving on whiteboards. Using the whiteboards allows us to see our mistakes while we’re learning.

Clicker questions and discussing answers within our groups and the whole class. Working on problems on the whiteboard. Learning from other people, not just from the instructor.

Reasoning. Explaining in different concepts the concepts that we are testing with the clicker questions. Thinking about we can arrive at answer in different ways ensures that I’m not just memorizing answers.

Clicker questions, because we can think about it together and then discuss it with final feedback from the instructor.

Group problem-solving. This helps eliminate errors in steps and helps us remember not to forget certain steps.

Everything is helpful. I think what helps the most is clicker questions. I like the fact that we go over how get the answer and that you ask us about our thinking process.

Group work, clicker questions, and whiteboarding is all helpful. The best to learn physics is to practice and that’s what we do. It helps a lot because I need a visual aid.

I like how involved everything is and making everything group really lets us exercise our strengths.

Clicker questions-I find this helpful going over in class what the correct is vs the wrong answer.

Group work is helpful and we are able to talk to each other and strategize.

Group work while you walk around to check on / help groups. This helps because I have other people that can correct me and point me in the right direction, and when I help other’s in my group I end up knowing the subject matter better myself.

Clicker questions and group explanations helps me understand the material. When we do whiteboards, if watch someone who knows what they are doing, it helps me understand instead of not knowing what do, and then I can try to attack the next problem with the marker.

The labs. They give me a tangible sense of problems and enhance my view of the problems.

Working the math formulas out in a group. It’s helpful because you can see how other do it plus ask questions.

Practice problems are very helpful, because we continue to set up and solve problems, so I know how to do it for the test.

The overall style is helpful for learning– going from concepts, to seeing if everyone understands those concepts, to quizzing those concepts, to applying those concepts. It flows well and sets you up for success.

I love clicker questions. The positive feedback gives an immediate chance to correct misunderstandings.

I like group work and multiple practice problems. We get multiple interpretations and strategies to solve problems.

Clicker questions are helpful. Mostly when we discuss our answers as a group and as a class. Problem solving helps and working as a group helps me compare my ideas with classmates and makes me work my best.

I like the hands on stuff with labs. I have a hard time with the reading and comprehending so, when I see it visually or do it, it really sticks.

What do we do in class that is helpful for your learning? Why specifically is it helpful?

So for I have not run into anything unhelpful. I don’t like working in groups, but it definitely helps me learn so I need to get over it.


I think mastering physics is a useful tool in some cases, but not all. I do not like relying on the computer program for homework and reading quizzes.

I often feel like I’m working on my own and pulling teeth to have the group work done together. I leaves me feeling overwhelmed and responsible for others’ learning.


Too much group work can be unhelpful, because it can give me a false sense of confidence.

Labs are not helpful. I would rather do more clicker questions or problems then do lab. Lab confuses me.

Too much down time between activities.

Everything helps.

The length of this class i hard. Maybe a 5-10 break? May help us stay focused.

Group work is helpful, but if we are going to do so much of it, then she should do group quizzes/ tests. Also lab does not really pertain to help with what we are learning in the book.



I wish we could stay with the same groups. Why fix what’s not broken.


Not enough mathematics with explanation.

The groups are not balanced. I think it’s unfair for some groups.

I can’t think of anything.

Everything seems helpful.

Occasionally, group work can be unhelpful.

So far, everything is working out well.

There is nothing specific that is unhelpful. I do think groups are not evenly balanced, knowledge-wise, and that can lead to frustration.


The labs aren’t unhelpful, but I do not feel like I’ve retained knowledge from them.

Can’t think of anything bad.

I would like if it were more clear what pages to read for each reading quiz.

I dislike the labs-Although it may be helpful, I found myself stuck when it came to relating it to the rest of class.

I feel like we need more than an hour for tests. Slow workers need more time.

Whiteboard exercises we do as groups are unhelpful because it seems we could use more examples as a class in order to be ready to break into groups.

Group work is good, but I feel like I need to understand material before I can jump in with my group.

Is there anything else that’s been on your mind? Something you want to tell me? Something we don’t do in class that you wish we did?


My understanding on HW consistently lags one class behind. I never seem to understand the HW until the class after it’s due. as it stands I’ve come to accept losing points on HW in order to cut down the time it takes to finish. Maybe we could move each assignment back a class/ day which could help.

It’s been a good class so far. HW is a little frustrating at times. I like the format of mymathlabs better than mastering physics.

Mastering physics is a struggle.



Online HW can be very picky. The extra learning that we can do is hard, because I feel like it picks bad problems. It sometimes picks problems we haven’t even read yet.

Having HW due the day of the test was frustrating.


I hate Pearson! The program is not consistent. Adaptive follow ups are ridiculous. Some of it is just too complicated.

Can re review commonly missed online problems? Too many online assignments, and the site doesn’t work fully on an ipad.

Hunger gets intense during this three hour class over lunch.

I feel a test review would be helpful.


I think we could do labs more together as a class than in our labs groups.

Just more math when explaining. Learning thing without math is more challenging and leaves me with a weaker understanding of the material.

I don’t like the adaptive HW… it gives you problems that are 4x harder than the original ones you missed. I think it would make sense to give you easier problems first, and then give you harder ones.

Online HW is stressful. I wish personally I had more free time to come to tutoring or office hours, but I don’t. This class is awesome though, your really care, which I appreciate.

I appreciate this survey.

I feel a review before the test would be very beneficial. I felt like I didn’t know what to study.

We should lecture more and do lab less. Or more practice problems on our own so it’s more like a test scenario.

You are one of the best professors I’ve ever had. I appreciate it.


The adaptive follow ups do not get tested out unless you get 100%. Maybe 90% would make more sense?

I wish you posted the powerpoints to study from. I wish we had more time for tests.

I like group work, but I wish we did some, where we work alone and then check with our group.

I HATE online homework. The computer takes off points, but can help you understand or explain what you did wrong.

Mastering Physics makes me want to throw a fit. Knowing if the answer is right or wrong is good, but mastering physics can’t me WHY I’m wrong. Also, since I commute, your office hours are not convenient.

Maybe you could go over some of the problems from our HW.

The HW gets really frustrating,.. a bit is when don’t cover everything in class, so we have to learn some on our own. Teaching myself does not work well.

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