Anonymous Start, Stop, and Keep

By Amy Pelvin

Online teaching has historically not been my strength. I just love the energy of the classroom. I am a faculty in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) Program. I’ve been teaching full time at Centennial for 10 years. In all honesty, I think this year has and will bring out the best teaching I’ve been able to do in a while. We all get used to our patterns and routines, our lessons and activities, and it becomes part of our comfort zone.  

This year I’ve worked harder than I maybe ever have. I’m creating content, activities, lessons and evaluations from scratch. I’m watching videos, and attending professional development to learn how to be better online. I’m working so hard, and ultimately, it’s because I want this year to still be a great learning experience for our students. I also want to be a great teacher and really push myself to learn and try new things. I thought, a new challenge like teaching online is just the kind of energy I might need right now! 

All of this is just amazing, but I don’t want to do all this work for nothing, was it working? Did they learn and enjoy learning? I needed to know how the students were receiving it. I opened a discussion board for feedback in all my online courses and told the students it was there. No posts. I made a video and posted it asking for feedback and explaining the purpose of my request. Still no posts. I held a Q & A at the end of a class and explained the purpose of the feedback discussion board. The students indeed had feedback! I asked them what would help in sharing it. We came up with two things: 

  1. Make it anonymous 
  2. Put it at the end of every single module 

I immediately did both. Now every time they access asynchronous content and in the module for synchronous class material, the discussion board link is there. This way they can immediately report on that class or lesson, while their ideas are fresh. I also was very specific about how they can frame a Start, Stop and Keep response and wrote it as follows: 

  • Please respond with a Start, Stop, Keep when giving feedback so I can get the most out of your responses.  
    • Start: what would you like me to start doing? 
    • Stop: what would you like me to stop or change? 
    • Keep: what is working that you want me to keep/continue to include? 
  • If you are sharing feedback please be as specific as possible using the Start, Stop, Keep template. Anonymous posts allowed.   
  • =) 

This was a game changer! So simple and yet, it’s working very well to solicit great feedback.