Chemistry students analyzing samples under green light.

Instructors use an array of assessment strategies to gain feedback from their students, including one-minute papers, CLASSIs, class representatives, mid-semester questionnaires, and end-of-the-semester ACE forms.

And then there’s the surprise feedback that comes as a note of thanks.

Every semester the Center for Teaching invites students to write notes of appreciation to their instructors, and they do—by the hundreds. We then send these expressions of thanks to the instructors after final grades have been submitted.

Here is a sample of slightly abridged notes from students: 


Your class was my first ever at college, and walking in the first day I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know anyone in the room, and I honestly had no idea what this class was even about. Now, looking back on my first semester, I am so glad that I was able to be in your class! You are an amazing teacher. I had to study and practice the material often in order to do well, but that didn’t make me like it any less.


Thank you so much for carefully grading our homework and pointing out my mistakes. Although I was disappointed about the points deducted, I appreciate that you wrote down where I was wrong and why.


Even though [this class] was very far from my major, it was by far my favorite class. You made me rethink what I want to do with my life in a good way.


I certainly did not get the grade I was hoping for in the class, yet I was still able to take a lot away from the coursework. I feel a lot more confident due to the presentations we completed, and will continue to work on issues that you helped me identify.


You made the class more bearable at 8am. You did a great job teaching a hard subject. So thank you for being a great TA!


I am glad I took this class in my first semester. The only thing I regret is the fact I only went to your office twice. I should have gone more often, it was quite interesting and fun to have a conversation with you. Especially the second time when we talked about the atomic bomb and World War. You know a lot of things I didn’t know.


You always presented yourself in a manner which demonstrated your passion for the subject matter and your interest in effectively teaching.


I truly appreciate all the extra time you took out of your busy schedule to meet with me when I struggled to grasp course content. I really feel that it was your encouragement and patience that allowed me to succeed.


The learning environment that you created was encouraging yet challenging and also provided me the opportunity to further develop my abilities to analyze, adjust, alter, research, workshop, and problem solve as a free-thinking, self-sufficient individual.


You made a big difference to me this semester. I came into this class second-guessing my decision to be a major. You never made me feel stupid for asking a question. And that made a huge difference. I’m coming out this semester, this class, feeling 100% sure that I picked the right major, and I am much more confident. Thank you.

I really enjoyed being in your Rhetoric class this past semester. Not only did it help me in my writing skills but it also educated me on environmental issues that I had been ignoring. I am giving my Wilson and McKibben books to my grandma.