One can assess teaching in a variety of ways including instructional strategies, instructor effectiveness, course evaluation, and course mapping. The type of teaching assessment used depends upon what you are looking to accomplish; when the assessment is carried out; and how the results will be used. The benefits of assessing teaching include:
- Determining whether techniques are having the desired impact on students' learning
- Monitoring whether your teaching strategies meet learning outcomes
- Identifying challenges your students are having in learning the material
- Improving instruction by making adjustments to teaching practices during the semester.
Types of Teaching Assessments
Instructors may assess specific steps, strategies, innovations, assignments, or actions used during the course to engage students in learning. Typically done during the semester to provide instructors useful information to adjust and improve instruction, assessments can measure the effectiveness of a particular activity at any point during the semester.
At UT, teacher effectiveness is typically measured by students at the end of the semester using the Course Instructor Survey, There are a variety of CIS forms one can use in the classroom depending upon the department, type of course, and survey method used (e.g. electronic or paper), but the questions mandated by UT System must be used. The instructor may add on his/her own questions, but results for these will not computed by Testing and Evaluation Services.
Course instructors may also conduct their own survey during the semester using a Mid-semester Course Feedback survey. These surveys provide useful information about one’s teaching and thereby enable making mid-course corrections. Canvas offers a couple of versions or instructors can create their own.
The UT Course Instructor Survey also measures students' overall satisfaction with the course or its content. Problematically, this measurement of course evaluation gets mixed up with measures of teaching effectiveness because both kinds of questions are embedded within the CIS. Nonetheless, when conducted at the end of the semester, its results can assist the instructor in making future decisions about course instruction.
This technique ensures the course learning outcomes are aligned with the course materials (e.g. out-of-class and in-class activities, assignments, exams, etc.). The product is generally a matrix (View example).