App review by Jennifer Sitkin, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2015
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Get real-time feedback on teaching with anonymous eval tool

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Subjects & Skills
Character & SEL, Critical Thinking

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Pros: A simple way to gather information from students to evaluate teacher effectiveness and monitor student learning.

Cons: The anonymous nature of the feedback makes it difficult to identify students who need support.

Bottom Line: An easy-to-use, focused tool for getting immediate insight about teaching, but it might be redundant for teachers using other kinds of real-time, formative feedback apps.

First, teachers should download the app, register for a free account, and use the online user instructions to set up a class and create a poll. It would be beneficial to show students the TeachBack website as a whole class, have them download the app, and register for the class to receive polls. Teachers should also make sure to cultivate a classroom culture that views TeachBack as an avenue for improving teaching and learning, not an opportunity to offer unkind or unhelpful feedback. Teachers can review the premade surveys to see if the questions are relevant to their classrooms, or they can customize a survey to address a topic of their choice. The premade surveys highlight student engagement and the quality of instruction and could apply to almost any educational setting. Teachers should definitely incorporate the results into future lessons to validate their students' feedback and encourage them to continue using it to share their reactions.

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TeachBack is a feedback-gathering app for instructors at any level in any subject area. The app has premade and customizable surveys that are designed to gather feedback from students about teaching and learning. Teachers register with an email address and and then set up classes and create polls. The polls have a five-star rating system and include built-in questions on instruction and engagement. Teachers can use the premade polls or design their own survey questions; plus, there's space for individual comments. Students subscribe to the class and provide feedback anonymously in real time. The results are available immediately, and teachers can instantly view an overall rating (an aggregate of all the ratings students have submitted) and examine responses to each question one at a time. TeachBack is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. 

Part exit ticket and part class evaluation, TeachBack can help instructors get a snapshot of what their students are learning and how they feel about the instruction. It's an easy way to gather student feedback and help teachers refine and improve their instruction. The premade polls are useful for general feedback about a course, a lesson, or overall instruction. The customization options can also help teachers target a specific learning objective or instructional strategy to further understand its effectiveness with their students.

Students will likely welcome -- and feel empowered by -- the chance to use their devices to give their teachers instant, anonymous feedback. Teachers should keep that dimension of anonymity in mind, though; anonymity means teachers will need to use other methods to identify students who need extra support or have serious concerns about a course. Plus, teacher will have to ensure responsible and respectful use by students. Overall, though, this is a neat tool for gathering instant feedback from students, and it's worth considering as a helpful way to use student insights to make adjustments and improve learning. However, for teachers already using formative feedback apps, it wouldn't be difficult to set up similar (although maybe not anonymous) functionality.

Overall Rating


Students will appreciate the opportunity to provide honest feedback to teachers about their instruction. Student buy-in should increase if teachers meaningfully implement feedback when appropriate. 


Premade and customizable surveys will help teachers understand what is and isn't working in the classroom. TeachBack is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese, which may increase accessibility for some students.


A user's guide helps teachers and students get started. Multiplatform availability makes it a good fit for a BYOD classroom. Data is reported in aggregate and anonymizes but prevents individual interventions.

Common Sense reviewer
Jennifer Sitkin Classroom teacher

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