Seeking feedback on how students are understanding the information and what they're getting from the course is always useful, but for an online course, it can be especially useful (and sometimes reassuring!).
Some ways to collect feedback:
- Student one-on-ones. For small classes, you might find it helpful to just speak to students individually to get to know them. More on online office hours.
- Casual check in during class. Build in regular time for feedback on the class. Minute papers are a particularly good method--have students write for one minute on how things are going. Search for "Exit Ticket Compilation Module" in Canvas Commons templates to get a selection of sample "exit ticket" questions that you might consider using in the last five minutes of a class session to gauge the student experience.
- Polling. You can pull up a quick anonymous poll through a live-polling program like Poll Everywhere and ask students to share something they learned and their murkiest point.
- Mid-quarter feedback. You can give students a quick anonymous survey on what they think of the course like this one, or even get a CTL expert to join the class to do a student focus group.