Keep, Stop, Start: A Primer on Early Informal Feedback (IEF) | TTLL Season 1, Episode 6

Aug 16, 2022, 09:05 AM

Episode transcript available here.

Check out more Teach Talk Listen Learn episodes

About the guest 

Cheelan Bo-Linn is a senior specialist in education at the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning. 

Episode resources 

Episode Summary 

In this episode, host Bob Dignan invites his CITL colleague, Cheelan Bo-Linn, into the studio to talk about the role of teacher evaluation tools, namely Informal Early Feedback or IEF. 


Before broaching the informal assessment, the senior specialist in education—who works with Illinois faculty from all disciplines to improve their teaching—says it’s necessary to understand its formal counterpart—the Instructor and Course Evaluation System or ICES. 


“ICES is a really good formative assessment,” says Bo-Linn, who describes some of the features of the official end-of semester student ratings system for faculty and teaching assistants used by many academic units. 


Bo-Linn then breaks down the EIF—typically given to students between Weeks 4 and 8—and its benefits. 

“ICES typically taps into teaching … but we should also tap into learning,” she says, adding the EIF does that well and can be tailored to the course. 


“How are you doing? What are you struggling in? Are you keeping up with the readings.” she continues, adding instructors can use the answers to make quick adjustments to the course and hopefully, improve learning outcomes for current students. 


Listen to the podcast hear the full discussion, including the three things IEFs can help instructors hone in on and how CITL can help instructors apply survey responses to refine their courses. 


Did you enjoy this episode, or do you have a story to share about your experience with IEFs or another teaching topic? Drop us a note at


This podcast was produced by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. Episodes can be found on our website,, and major podcast platforms. We hope you’ll find us there and join the conversation!