I've stolen my colleague-across-the-hall's evaluation method. We have to do a student evaluation standardized form for the deans (only the temporary people are required to do so, btw), but that comes back mid-February and is not particularly helpful with planning next semester's syllabus.
My colleague has the students write 5 items (texts, techniques, units, whatever) they found most helpful and 5 that were least. There is also an open ended question about what there could have been more (or less) of. He leaves the classroom and tells them to compile a class list of the 5 most helpful and least helpful and to let him know where there was consensus and where it was lacking.
As I left the room, I could hear them -- "ok, we'll have to get into a circle now" --- (!) and they took 20 minutes to come up with a very detailed list. I also collected the individual lists but I really like the way that they talk to each other and discover that the most important units for some were exactly the ones that others couldn't stand.
I'm always surprised that they emphasize "following the syllabus" as being so very important. You mean it isn't obvious? Is it unusual? I write that syllabus for me, so I know what I'm doing on any given day, and I guess I do keep to it pretty much throughout the semester.