Posted by: Emily | February 2, 2009

An ode to the index card

As I was walking into the my second instruction session of the semester–a group of very focused nursing students, more than I had chairs for, in a very very hot room–when a colleague mentioned that she planned to hand out index cards and ask for feedback from the class. Tell me one thing that you learned today, and one thing you’re still confused about. So I nabbed that idea from her and put it to work. The results are pretty interesting–there’s a real range in the class, surprise surprise! One student simply wrote down his name even after I said several times I do not need your name. Another extolled the virtues of the truncation symbol. The cards told me a lot about where these students were at, and I didn’t have to make a handout to find out (thank goodness).

But how might I assemble this data into something analyzable?  I still wonder what you guys do with your feedback, whatever method you use to gather it.



  1. try this – if you teach in a computer classroom, make an online survey using google forms (an option available in google spreadsheets) with these two questions and their academic status, name of class, whatever. give it a comprehensible tinyurl (you can name your own tu suffix now), and ask students to take/submit the survey at the end of the class – google forms offer several question types (short answer, likert. mult. choice, etc.), so you could add a quick rating item or something, too. survey responses are automatically saved to the same google spreadsheet, regardless of how many classes use it. date and time are also automatically recorded, making it easy to distinguish between classes. also, if you follow the 2-question same format in non-computer classrooms, you can simply hand-enter written responses into google, then export the spreadsheet into excel or other applications. that’s what i do. xoxo.

  2. Char. I’m late at looking at this comment. It is brilliant. And is making me fall in love with Google Docs all over again.

    (And now if you can tell me how to download a google doc into word without getting those crazy margins, I’ll waive your library fines.)

  3. no such luck – they may be diabolical geniuses, but they still can’t figure out margins.

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