Good teachers reflect on what they do to gain an understanding of their strengths and their weaknesses, or identify areas in which they can improve (adapted from Carr & Kemmis, 1986).
There are many ways to evaluate your teaching practice, and different types of information you can collect.
There are four key sources from which you can collect and evaluate data about your teaching practice – yourself, your peers, your students’ experiences, and your students’ learning.
- Self-evaluation will help you prioritise areas of teaching to focus on for evaluation and/or improvement
- Keep a journal to record, reflect on and learn from your experiences.
Ask another tutor to sit in on your class and give you feedback. Be specific about the aspects of your practice that you want observed and commented on.
- At the end of the semester you can use the Student Evaluation of Tutor questionnaire (SETutor), a standard tutor evaluation tool used at UQ. Please note that you need to order these questionnaires online ahead of time. The feedback from SETutor is important for your professional development and for use in your academic portfolio.
- Ask students “what did you find most useful about the session today?” and “How could the session be improved?” to collect fast, relevant data on your tutorial
- Use a “suggestion box” to get feedback on how a session went, or how classes are going in general.
- Get students to self-report on their knowledge –getting feedback from students about their learning is a useful way of getting feedback about your teaching
- Observe students and student work – you can get an idea of your students' learning from their performance on assessment, in-class or out-of-class activities.
Some general principles
- Don’t overuse students as sources of evaluation data
- Get feedback early on in the semester, so you can address any aspects early
- Always be prepared to respond to feedback
- Don’t ask specific questions about the course or your teaching if you don’t intend to, or can’t change it
- Guarantee anonymity.