No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
Each year faculty members in institutions of higher education take on the task of teaching others. For most of these people, this is a recurring task. In fact, for the majority, this is the central task of a life-long career.
Assuming that no one is perfect and therefore everyone has room for improvement, evaluation is the means by which we try to identify which aspects of our teaching are good and which need to be changed. The question then arises as to who should take responsibility for doing this evaluation. My belief is that evaluation is an inherent part of good teaching. Therefore it is the teacher himself or herself who should take primary responsibility for doing the evaluation.
In this chapters/chapter, I will offer a basic definition of evaluation, state a few reasons why one should invest time and effort into evaluation, describe five techniques for evaluation, and identify resources for helping us evaluate and improve our teaching.
A Definition of "Evaluation"
Doing good evaluation is like doing good research. In both cases, you are trying to answer some important questions about an important topic. The key to doing both activities well is (a) identifying the right questions to ask and (b) figuring out tips answer them.
What are the key questions in the evaluation of teaching? Basically they are: "How well am I teaching? Which aspects of my teaching are good and which need to be improved?" The first question attempts to provide a global assessment, while the second is analytical and diagnostic in character.
Before moving to the task of figuring out tips answer these questions, we should look at the reasons for taking time to evaluate.
1. It takes a certain amount of time and effort to effectively evaluate our own teaching. Is this a wise use of time? I would argue that it is, for three reasons
Regardless of how good or how poor we are as teachers, we all have the potential to get better over time...