Evaluating a course is useful for informing revisions to the course, as well as for collecting documentation for career advancement. Components of course evaluation come from students and peer reviews as well as self-reflection by the instructor. Opportunities to gain new ideas from colleagues and learning specialists through conversations and direct-observation of classes by peers. Finally, self-reflection is a critical component of evaluating a course and integrates feedback from others with the personal experience of the instructor.
Feedback from Students
Students’ feedback about their experience and learning can be collected with: surveys, informal conversations, performance on assignments and in class, end-of-the-semester exams, and through institutional student evaluations.
These resources can help you get started gathering student feedback during or at the end of the semester—
Integrating Student Feedback During a Course – Explore ways to effectively gather and use early- and mid-term student feedback to enhance teaching (Tufts)
Using Student Focus Groups to Improve a Class (Tufts Faculty Blog)
How to Frame Course Evaluations With Your Students (Inside Higher Ed)
Analyzing Student End-of-Course Written Evaluations (The Scholarly Teacher)
Student Evaluations of Teaching (Vanderbilt)
Feedback from Colleagues
Faculty peers and learning specialists can provide invaluable insight into a course through conversations about course design, review of class activities and by observing the course.
Faculty Peer Review & Evaluation (University of Southern California)
Classroom Observation and Feedback by Peers – Learn how to approach giving and receiving peer feedback about teaching (Tufts)
Teaching Squares (Tufts)
For additional support you’re welcome to contact the educational specialists at Tufts’ Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Educational Technology Services (ETS).
Feedback from Self-Reflection
A process of self-reflection on teaching can be as simple as noting at the end of each day what went well and what you might like to adjust in future semesters. It can also encompass the reflections you write on annual reviews, as well as the creation of a more-formal statement of your teaching philosophy.
Self-Reflection on Teaching (University of Washington)
What Critically Reflective Teaching Is and Why It’s Important (University of St. Thomas)
Virtual Classroom Visits – A series of video episodes for the Student-Centered Teaching at Tufts project, in which faculty members were recorded teaching and receiving feedback on their teaching (Tufts)
Research About Teaching and Learning (Teaching@Tufts)– Building on the work of self-reflection, you can take a scholarly approach, as described in these resources.
Often requested during hiring or promoting processes, a teaching philosophy is a statement which reflects how your beliefs about teaching shape your practice as an instructor.
Six Questions That Will Bring Your Teaching Philosophy into Focus (Neil Haave, Faculty Focus)
Teaching Perspectives Inventory (Pratt and Collins)
A portfolio is a collection of evidence of your teaching practice and development, and can include syllabi, course activities, examples of student work and feedback, with your reflections on each of these.
The Teaching Portfolio (CRLT Occasional Paper)
Teaching Portfolio (Vanderbilt)