Should Students Have the Power to Change Course Structure?

Gerald P. McDonnell, Michael D. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the present article, we describe a course exercise in which students were administered four course evaluation forms throughout the semester, on which they provided their overall impressions of the class as well as their desire to change certain aspects of the course. Critically, during the semester, a total of three changes were made to the structure of the course as voted on by the students. Compared to the previous semester where students completed only end-of-semester evaluations, improvements in exam performance as well as instructor ratings were observed. Furthermore, students indicated that the changes made throughout the semester improved the course, and they hoped that other classes would adopt a similar classroom developmental strategy. This supports a growing body of evidence, suggesting that midsemester feedback is crucial for optimizing the learning environment for the student, particularly when concrete changes are made after the administration of course feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • student course evaluations
  • student–teacher rapport
  • teacher development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Psychology


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