Evaluating Effective Teaching

This page is dedicated to evaluating my teaching.

 

I evaluate student learning using both summative and formative assessments in order to help students improve their work over the course of the semester. Likewise, I want to improve my teaching even over the course of a semester, so I evaluate my teaching using both summative and formative assessments. Within individual classes, I use clicker questions and think-write-pair-share exercises to assess how well students are understanding the concepts I am teaching. If the majority of students cannot answer a clicker questions correctly, I ask students to discuss the question with their peers and re-answer. I then do a short review of the topic to ensure that all students are comfortable with the material.

I also make use of in-class concept maps and muddiest point exercises to find out which topics students are unclear about. In reviewing these exercises, I know when I should review and modify my approach to teaching for particular topics.

Over a semester, I use mid-term evaluations to find out which teaching tools are working best for students and which tools need modification, so I can adjust my teaching techniques for particular classes. For example, in an Entomology course, I designed photo identification quizzes and provided students with both known and unknown specimens for identification. These in-class assessments provided students with additional methods to study the material and test their own knowledge, ultimately enhancing their understanding. Course evaluations reflected this outcome, e.g.:

 

“Kristen was a really great TA, and went out of her way to prepare materials to help us (ie [sic] the powerpoint quiz slides)”

 

“Kristen went above and beyond what I think were her expected TA duties. Her effort in providing extra study materials and understanding that students were sometimes struggling made a huge difference in the final grade I received in the class.”

 

I believe in constantly evaluating my teaching in order to improve my skills and grow as a teacher. Please see my Scholarship of Teaching and Learning page for more information on the research I conduct to improve my teaching. When reviewing my teaching evaluations, I synthesize the results and compare them to my previous teaching history. 

Category:

Seems knowledgeable in the subject matter

Is well prepared for class

Uses class time efficiently

Stimulates deeper thinking about the subject

Makes me feel free to ask questions

Provides clear and comprehensive explanations

Communicates interest in helping students learn

Is willing to help students outside of class

Conveys enthusiasm in teaching the material

Is organized in presenting the material

Involves everyone in class

Grades Equitably

Comments on my work in ways that help me learn

Realizes when students do NOT understand

Overall the quality of my TA's teaching is:

Score (/5)

4.72

4.86

4.8

4.47

4.93

4.73

4.81

4.83

4.83

4.78

4.73

4.84

4.58

4.68

4.82

Below is a table summarizing my teaching evaluations as well as an assessment of my strengths and areas for improvement.

Generally, I have had very positive teaching evaluations with an average score greater than 4.6 in every category except two. My lowest average score (4.47) is in stimulating deeper thinking about the subject. My second lowest score (4.58) is in providing comments on student work in ways that help them learn. My highest score (4.93) is in making students feel free to ask questions. It appears that my enthusiasm and dedication to student learning is apparent to the students; however, I need to improve the depth of knowledge that I convey and how much I stimulate deeper thinking and learning in students. One strategy I will implement to improve student learning is to start assigning short minute papers with leading questions that encourage students to reflect on the material that we covered and what they learned from various assignments. Emphasizing the process of learning and having students reflect on how they improved over the course of the assignment can help students to realize the value of learning from their errors and will hopefully stimulate deeper thinking about the subject.

To learn more about my thoughts on teaching,

please download my Teaching Statement.