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The weak points? What did you find most interesting about this course? Most frustrating? What would you do differently if you taught this course again?
In addition to evaluating your course using the fast-feedback methods or teaching portfolio described above, other powerful methods for evaluating your teaching include formal end-of-term student evaluations, peer review, and videotaping. Videotaping is one way to view and listen to the class as your students do; you can also observe your students' reactions and responses to your teaching. You can also check the accuracy of your perceptions of how well you teach and identify those techniques that work and those that need improvement.
Many schools have professional development offices which can help with taping or assessing the tapes, but informal recording by the instructor can be useful and effective. However, you may want someone from the professional development office to view the tape with you to avoid focusing on your appearance or mannerisms. An experienced evaluator. Successful peer review programs which include classroom visits share a number of features.
These programs work best when faculty members:. Use a team or partner approach, in which faculty pair up or work in small groups to visit one another's classes.
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Conduct visits as part of a consultation process that involves a pre-visit conference to discuss goals for the class, and a post-visit debriefing to discuss what happened. Combine classroom observation with other strategies that enrich the picture such as interviewing students, reviewing materials, and examining student work. Are self-conscious about the learning that can occur for the observer as well as the observed.
Are purposeful about who might best visit whom.
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Depending on their questions and purposes, they may want to pair up with someone from the same field who can comment on content; alternatively, if they are experimenting with a new teaching strategy, they might want to find a colleague who has extensive experience with that strategy. Keep track of how classroom observation is working, so they can learn from the process and improve it.
How can you analyze your classroom interactions with students? As you watch the tape, try the technique of stopping every five seconds and putting a check in the following columns: teacher talk, student talk, silence. Or look at your lecture in terms of organization and preparation: Did I give the purpose of the session?
Emphasize or restate the most important ideas? Make smooth transitions from one topic to another? Summarize the main points? Include neither too much nor too little material in a class period? Seem at ease with the material? Begin and end class promptly? Peer review of one's research results is standard practice in all fields of science, but only recently has this become a mechanism for advancing one's teaching knowledge and skills. Although conceived as an effort to improve the quality of evidence about teaching in faculty tenure and promotion decisions, the project puts greater emphasis on faculty collaboration to improve teaching throughout their careers.
Reciprocal classroom visits, mentoring programs for new faculty, team teaching, and departmental seminars about teaching and learning are but a few of the ways that faculty members work with colleagues to improve undergraduate education.
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The most common way to evaluate a course and a faculty member's teaching is to use a student rating form at the end of the term. These forms often are used by faculty committees and administrators to make personnel. A substantial body of research has concluded that administering questionnaires to students can be both valid and reliable, providing faculty and administrators with a wealth of knowledge about the attitudes, behavior, and values of students Hinton, Advice on how to design, administer, and interpret evaluation forms can be found in Cashin , Theall and Franklin , Davis , and Braskamp and Ory Despite their widespread use, there is no clear consensus on the connection between students' learning and their rating of the instructor.
Some studies suggest that student ratings of the instructor's teaching correlate somewhat with student learning Marsh and Dunkin, However, Arons observes that many vacuous courses in science have been developed which students have rated highly, describing them as fun and exciting. Subsequent testing indicated that these students learned very little. This does not suggest that student perspectives are unimportant. However, before distributing the evaluation forms, many instructors tell students the purpose of the forms. When students know how the forms will be used, and are confident that their comments will be taken seriously, faculty are more likely to receive evaluations that can help them improve their teaching and their course.
Effective science teaching requires creativity, imagination, and innovation. In light of concerns about American science literacy, scientists and educators have struggled to teach this discipline more effectively. Science Teaching Reconsidered provides undergraduate science educators with a path to understanding students, accommodating their individual differences, and helping them grasp the methods--and the wonder--of science.
What impact does teaching style have? How do I plan a course curriculum? How do I make lectures, classes, and laboratories more effective?
How can I tell what students are thinking? Why don't they understand? This handbook provides productive approaches to these and other questions. Written by scientists who are also educators, the handbook offers suggestions for having a greater impact in the classroom and provides resources for further research. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website. Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one.
Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book. Switch between the Original Pages , where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text. To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.
Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available. Do you enjoy reading reports from the Academies online for free? Sign up for email notifications and we'll let you know about new publications in your areas of interest when they're released. Get This Book. Visit NAP. Looking for other ways to read this? No thanks. Science Teaching Reconsidered: A Handbook.
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Page 34 Share Cite. This suggests the following: At the beginning of every course, try to gauge the students' prior knowledge of the subject. Page 35 Share Cite. Page 36 Share Cite. Other ways to respond to advice: From time to time restate and clarify the course's goals and expectations. Using a Portfolio to Assess Your Course. Watching Yourself on Videotape What are the specific things I did well?
What are the specific things I could have done better? What kept the students engaged? When did students get lost or lose interest? If I could do this session over again, what three things would I change? How would I go about making those changes?